Soap operas have been a staple of the television world since they first gained traction in the 1950s. However, it wasn’t until the 80s that the primetime soap was born. While a daytime soap airs every weekday and are usually targeted to an audience of bored housewives and college students, primetime soaps only air once a week, during primetime hours. Primetime soaps also target a wider audience, so they tend to be more realistic. However, they still retain the drama and shocking plot twists that make soap operas so appealing. This list of the best primetime soap operas to ever air on television has been voted on and ranked by the community.
In the 80s, primetime soaps were all the rage, with "Dallas," "Dynasty, and "Knots Landing" as topics of conversation and can't miss viewing for every TV lover. When something exciting happened on one of these shows, such as the shooting of JR, everybody knew about it.
Although the primetime soap died out for a few years, it reemerged once again when "Desperate Housewives" became a huge hit. Since then primetime soaps have continued to entertain television fans.
What are the best primetime soap operas in the history of television? Vote up the all time best primetime soaps below and see where the soap operas you love to watch rank.
- 391174Dynasty (ABC, 1981) is an American prime time television soap opera created by Richard and... more
- 384170Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2,... more
- 305146Knots Landing is an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979... more
- 267136Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992 to May... more
- 238117Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for... more
- 269147Desperate Housewives (ABC, 2004) is an American mystery comedy-drama television series created... more
- 211132Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox, 1990) is an American teen drama television series created by Darren... more
- 9553EastEnders is a British soap opera; the first episode was broadcast in the United Kingdom on... more
- 176138Revenge (ABC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Mike Kelley, inspired by... more
- 136106The Colbys is an American prime time soap opera, which originally aired on ABC from November... more
- 8154Coronation Street is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since... more
- 123100Brothers and Sisters is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from January to April 1979. The... more
- 160143Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 2005) is an American medical soap opera television series created by... more
- 136128The O.C. (Fox, 2003) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz. A... more
- 113106Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes... more
Twin PeaksCatherine E. Coulson, Warren FrostTwin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark... more
- 8778Models Inc. is an American prime time soap opera that aired on the Fox television network... more
- 9284Flamingo Road is an American prime time soap opera that aired on NBC. It was first seen as a... more
- 120116Melrose Place is an American television drama series broadcast on The CW from September 8,... more
- 5947Devious Maids is an American television comedy-drama series created by Marc Cherry, produced... more
- 127125Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh... more
- 9098Savannah is an American prime time television drama that ran from January 21, 1996 to February... more
- 7884Central Park West is an American prime time television soap opera that ran from September 1995... more
- 97111One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn.... more
- 8394Nashville (ABC, 2012) is an American musical drama television series created by Callie Khouri.... more