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.
The lives, loves, triumphs and tragedies of families in a Midwestern town.
- Premiered: November 8, 1965
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 Hulu ...more
- Premiered: July 15, 1968
A soap opera set in a hospital and the surrounding city of Port Charles.
- Premiered: April 1, 1963
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, 2013, ...more
- Premiered: January 5, 1970
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 June 30, ...more
- Premiered: January 25, 1937
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 other ...more
- Premiered: April 2, 1956
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
- Premiered: May 4, 1964
A vampire returns to his family mansion in Collinsport, Maine.
- Premiered: June 27, 1966
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 of its run ...more
- Premiered: April 2, 1956
Drama revolves around three families in Genoa City.
- Premiered: March 26, 1973
Past history links two Los Angeles families.
- Premiered: March 23, 1987
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 and ...more
- Premiered: July 7, 1975
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 of ...more
- Premiered: July 30, 1984
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, it ...more
- Premiered: September 3, 1951
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 three ...more
- Premiered: September 24, 1951
Texas is an American daytime soap opera which aired on NBC from August 4, 1980, until December 31, 1982, sponsored and produced by Procter & Gamble Productions at NBC Studios in Brooklyn, New York ...more
- Premiered: August 4, 1980
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, the ...more
- Premiered: September 15, 1964
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 of ...more
- Premiered: March 29, 1982
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 loves, ...more
- Premiered: 1999
Sunset Beach is an American television soap opera that aired on NBC from January 6, 1997 to December 31, 1999. The show follows the loves and lives of the people living in the Orange County coastal ...more
- Premiered: January 6, 1997
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 takes ...more
- Premiered: June 1, 1997
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 operas ...more
- Premiered: February 1, 1954
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
- Premiered: March 27, 1989
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, was ...more
- Premiered: June 26, 1983
Somerset is an American television soap opera which ran on NBC from March 30, 1970, until December 31, 1976. The show was a spin-off of another NBC serial, Another World.
- Premiered: March 30, 1970