Soap Operas The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas  

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List Rules Drama! Vote up the best daytime soap operas that have ever aired on television.

The soap opera was among the first genres of television to gain traction with audiences, since the birth of TV in the late 1940s. The first daytime soap opera was "Faraway Hill," which premiered in 1946. Since then, soap operas have been a pivotal part of televised entertainment. Daytime soaps differ from primetime television because there’s a new episode every weekday, instead of once a week. Some daytime soap operas began as radio broadcasts and then went on to span many decades on the television airways. This list of the best daytime soap operas has been voted on and ranked by the community.

"Guiding Light" holds the Guinness World Record for longest-running TV drama, with 57 seasons under its belt. Other programs, like "General Hospital" and "Days of Our Lives" have also lasted many decades.

These days there are only 4 soap operas still on the air, although some shows have continued their life on through internet webisodes. Although many of the daytime soaps on this list didn’t last decades, they made a lasting impressionon those who watched.

What are the best daytime soaps of all time? Vote up the daytime soap operas you think are the best of all time below and see where the soaps you think are great rank.

list ordered by

1
118 35
Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles Dark Shadows is an American gothic soap opera that originally aired weekdays on the ABC television network, from June 27, 1966, to April 2, 1971. The series became hugely popular when vampire ...more

2
98 48
Days of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Pamela Anderson, Shelley Hennig, Melinda Clarke Days of Our Lives is an American daytime soap opera broadcast on the NBC television network. It is one of the longest-running scripted television programs in the world, airing nearly every ...more

3
57 31
As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland, Ming-Na Wen As the World Turns is an American television soap opera that aired on CBS for 54 years from April 2, 1956 to September 17, 2010. Irna Phillips created As the World Turns as a sister show to her ...more

4
66 41
All My Children is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Cameron Mathison, Michael E. Knight, Alicia Minshew All My Children is an American television soap opera that aired on ABC for 41 years, from January 5, 1970, to September 23, 2011, and on The Online Network from April 29, 2013, to September 2, ...more

5
64 41
General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Eva Longoria, James Franco, Kelly Monaco General Hospital is an American daytime television medical drama that is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running American soap opera in production and the third longest-running ...more

6
60 38
One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross One Life to Live is an American soap opera broadcast on the ABC television network for more than 43 years, from July 15, 1968, to January 13, 2012, and then on the internet as a web series on ...more

7
55 35
Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer, Brittany Snow Guiding Light is an American television soap opera that is listed in Guinness World Records as the longest-running drama in television in American history, broadcast on CBS for 57 years from ...more

8
61 43
The Young and the Restless is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Eva Longoria, Shemar Moore, Tatyana Ali The Young and the Restless is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS. The show is set in a fictional Wisconsin town called Genoa City, which is ...more

9
59 41
The Bold and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Usher, Katherine Kelly Lang, Hunter Tylo The Bold and the Beautiful is an American television soap opera created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS. It premiered on March 23, 1987 as a sister show to the Bells' other soap ...more

10
46 36
Another World is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe Another World is an American television soap opera that ran on NBC for 35 years from May 4, 1964 to June 25, 1999. It was created by Irna Phillips along with William J. Bell, and was produced by ...more

11
44 32
The Edge of Night is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross, Lori Loughlin The Edge of Night is an American television mystery series/soap opera produced by Procter & Gamble. It debuted on CBS on April 2, 1956, and ran as a live broadcast on that network for most ...more

12
42 34
Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon Search for Tomorrow is an American soap opera that aired on CBS from September 3, 1951 to March 26, 1982, and on NBC from March 29, 1982 to December 26, 1986. At the time of its final broadcast, ...more

13
39 31
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen, Ryan O'Neal Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes from September 15, 1964 to June 2, 1969. Based upon the 1956 novel of the same name by Grace Metalious, ...more

14
35 29
The Secret Storm is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Joan Crawford, Roy Scheider, Audrey Landers The Secret Storm is a soap opera which the CBS television network transmitted from February 1, 1954, to February 8, 1974. It was created by Roy Winsor, who also created the long-running soap ...more

15
35 30
Capitol is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Teri Hatcher, Kelly Preston, Carol Alt Capitol is an American soap opera which aired on CBS from March 29, 1982 to March 20, 1987 for 1,270 episodes. As its name suggests, the storyline usually revolves around the political intrigues ...more

16
32 32
Love of Life is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider Love of Life is an American soap opera which aired on CBS from September 24, 1951, to February 1, 1980. It was created by Roy Winsor, whose previous creation Search for Tomorrow had premiered ...more

17
29 30
Generations is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford, Richard Roundtree Generations is an American soap opera that aired on NBC from March 27, 1989, to January 25, 1991. The show was groundbreaking in that it was the first soap opera to feature from its inception an ...more

18
38 46
Passions is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Lindsay Hartley, McKenzie Westmore, Galen Gering Passions is an American soap opera which aired on NBC from July 5, 1999 to September 7, 2007 and on The 101 Network from September 17, 2007 to August 7, 2008. Passions follows the lives and ...more

19
33 43
Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker Ryan's Hope is an American soap opera created by Claire Labine and Paul Avila Mayer, originally airing for 13 years on ABC from July 7, 1975 to January 13, 1989. It revolves around the trials ...more

20
27 42
Port Charles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Kelly Monaco, Amy Weber, Linda Purl Port Charles is an American television soap opera which aired on ABC from June 1, 1997 to October 3, 2003. It is a spin-off of the serial General Hospital, which had been running since 1963 and ...more

21
25 40
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Leonardo DiCaprio, Robin Wright, Judith Anderson Santa Barbara is an American television soap opera, first broadcast in the United States on NBC on July 30, 1984, and last aired on January 15, 1993. The show revolves around the eventful lives ...more

22
20 38
The Brighter Day is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Hal Holbrook, Patty Duke, Lois Nettleton The Brighter Day is an American daytime soap opera which aired on CBS from January 4, 1954 to September 28, 1962. Originally created for NBC radio by Irna Phillips in 1948, the radio and ...more

23
21 37
Faraway Hill is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Mel Brandt Faraway Hill was the first soap opera broadcast on an American television network, running on the DuMont Television Network.

24
22 41
The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Terry O'Quinn The Doctors is an American television soap opera which aired on NBC Daytime from April 1, 1963, to December 31, 1982. There were 5280 episodes produced, with the 5000th episode airing in ...more

25
18 42
Loving is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Mitchell Loving is an American television soap opera that ran on ABC from June 26, 1983, to November 10, 1995, a total of 3,169 episodes. The serial, set in the fictional town of Corinth, Pennsylvania, ...more