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The Best '80s Daytime Soap Operas

Updated September 13, 2019 5.0k votes 893 voters 61.4k views19 items

List RulesDaytime soap operas that aired on television during the 1980s

During the 80s, there were more people watching soap operas than ever before. Soaps like "General Hospital" were averaging 14 million viewers an episode at its peak. There were also more soap operas on the air than ever before, with as many as 15 daytime soaps airing during a week. The top soaps of the decade were" General Hospital", "All My Children," and "One Life to Live." This list of the best daytime soap operas that aired during 1980-1989, has been voted on a ranked by the community.

While many old soap operas continued to flourish during the 80s, some soaps saw their last years. "Love of Life" ended in 1980, "Search for Tomorrow" ended in 1982, and "The Edge of Night" ended in 1984, among many others.

New soap operas also premiered, including "Generations," "Texas," "The Bold and the Beautiful," and "Santa Barbara." Although primetime soaps like "Dallas" and "Dynasty" were gaining popularity at this time, daytime soaps didn’t lose any of their status or popularity.

What are the best daytime soap operas from the 80s? Vote up the best 1980s daytime soap operas below and see where the soaps you loved to watch during the 80s rank.

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  • 1
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    General Hospital

    Brandon Barash, Norma Connolly
    General Hospital is an American daytime television medical drama that is listed in Guinness...  more

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  • 2
    212
    120

    All My Children

    Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight
    All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC for 41 years, from...  more

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  • 3
    187
    123

    Santa Barbara

    Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Wright
    Santa Barbara is an American television soap opera, first broadcast in the United States on...  more

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  • 4
    219
    150

    Days of Our Lives

    Galen Gering, Suzanne Rogers
    Days of Our Lives (NBC, 1965) is an American daytime soap opera created by Ted and Betty...  more

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  • 5
    177
    127

    Another World

    Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford
    Another World is an American television soap opera that ran on NBC for 35 years from May 4,...  more
  • 6
    166
    120

    One Life to Live

    Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian
    One Life to Live is an American soap opera broadcast on the ABC television network for more...  more
  • 7
    172
    126

    Guiding Light

    Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer
    Guiding Light is an American television soap opera that is listed in Guinness World Records as...  more
  • 8
    137
    109

    Ryan's Hope

    Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett
    Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer,...  more
  • 9
    125
    126

    Love of Life

    Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve
    Love of Life is an American soap opera which aired on CBS from September 24, 1951, to February...  more
  • 10
    131
    136

    As the World Turns

    Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland
    As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS for 54 years from...  more
  • 11
    164
    178

    The Young and the Restless

    Ashley Jones, Adrienne Frantz
    The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and...  more

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  • 12
    98
    102

    Generations

    Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford
    Generations is an American soap opera that aired on NBC from March 27, 1989, to January 25,...  more
  • 13
    126
    135

    The Bold and the Beautiful

    Jennifer Gareis, Ashley Jones
    The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS, 1987) is an American television soap opera created by William...  more
  • 14
    75
    77
    Texas is an American daytime soap opera which aired on NBC from August 4, 1980, until December...  more
  • 15
    84
    118

    The Edge of Night

    Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross
    The Edge of Night is an American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter &...  more
  • 16
    77
    127

    Loving

    Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston
    Loving is an American television soap opera that ran on ABC from June 26, 1983, to November...  more

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  • 17
    52
    142

    Capitol

    Teri Hatcher, Kelly Preston
    Capitol is an American soap opera which aired on CBS from March 29, 1982 to March 20, 1987 for...  more
  • 18
    48
    148

    Search for Tomorrow

    Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen
    Search for Tomorrow is an American soap opera that aired on CBS from September 3, 1951 to...  more
  • 19
    33
    160

    The Doctors

    Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner
    The Doctors is an American television soap opera which aired on NBC Daytime from April 1,...  more

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