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
78 33
Days of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Days of Our Lives 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

2
52 26
Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Dark Shadows 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

3
48 29
One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
One Life to Live 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

4
49 31
The Young and the Restless is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Young and the Restless 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

5
50 32
The Bold and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Bold and the Beautiful 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

6
48 31
All My Children is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
All My Children 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

7
42 26
As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
As the World Turns 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

8
43 28
Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Guiding Light 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

9
46 33
General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
General Hospital 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

10
32 26
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Peyton Place 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

11
32 27
Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Search for Tomorrow 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

12
32 27
The Edge of Night is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Edge of Night 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

Longest Running US Soap Operas

13
29 24
The Secret Storm is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Secret Storm 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

14
28 23
Capitol is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Capitol 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

15
34 31
Another World is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Another World 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

16
26 23
Generations is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Generations 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

17
23 27
Love of Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Love of Life 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

The Best Ecchi Anime of All Time

18
31 38
Passions is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Passions 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
20 29
Faraway Hill is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Faraway Hill Mel Brandt Faraway Hill was the first soap opera broadcast on an American television network, running on the DuMont Television Network.

20
23 35
Port Charles is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Port Charles 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
18 30
The Brighter Day is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Brighter Day 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

22
24 40
Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Ryan's Hope 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

23
17 35
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Santa Barbara 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

24
14 33
A World Apart is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
A World Apart Susan Sarandon, Susan Sullivan, David Birney A World Apart is an American daytime drama which ran from March 30, 1970 to June 25, 1971 on the ABC television network.

25
15 36
The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Doctors 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

26
13 36
Loving is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Loving 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

27
11 34
Return to Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Return to Peyton Place Mary Frann, John Hoyt, Frank Ferguson Return to Peyton Place is an American daytime serial which aired on NBC from April 3, 1972 to January 4, 1974. The series was a spin-off of the primetime drama series Peyton Place rather than an ...more

28
11 35
Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 Tom Poston, Jim Bannon, Hope Summers Hawkins Falls, Population 6200 is the first successful American television soap opera. Sponsored by Unilever's blue detergent, Surf, the program began as a one hour comedy-drama on June 17, ...more

29
7 39
Love Is a Many Splendored Thin... is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
Love Is a Many Splendored Thing Susan Lucci, Donna Mills, Paul Michael Glaser Love Is a Many Splendored Thing is an American daytime soap opera which aired on CBS from September 18, 1967 to March 23, 1973. The series was created by Irna Phillips, who served as the first ...more

30
6 40
The Nurses is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The All Time Greatest Daytime Soap Operas
The Nurses Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Alan Alda The Nurses is a serialized primetime medical drama that was broadcast in the USA on CBS from September 27, 1962, to May 11, 1965. It was originally called The Nurses; for the second season, the ...more