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1.3k voters

The All-Time Best Primetime Soap Operas

Updated January 14, 2021 10.6k votes 1.3k voters 49.9k views98 items

List RulesVote up the best primetime soap operas to have ever aired on television

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.

 

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  • 1
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    Dynasty

    Heather Locklear, Virginia Hawkins
    Dynasty (ABC, 1981) is an American prime time television soap opera created by Richard and...  more

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  • 2
    384
    170

    Dallas

    Charlene Tilton, Victoria Principal
    Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2,...  more

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  • 3
    305
    146

    Knots Landing

    Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford
    Knots Landing is an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979...  more

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  • 4
    267
    136

    Melrose Place

    Grant Show, Heather Locklear
    Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992 to May...  more

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  • 5
    238
    117

    Falcon Crest

    Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas
    Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for...  more

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  • 6
    269
    147

    Desperate Housewives

    Drea de Matteo, Eva Longoria
    Desperate Housewives (ABC, 2004) is an American mystery comedy-drama television series created...  more

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  • 7
    211
    132

    Beverly Hills, 90210

    Lindsay Price, Gabrielle Carteris
    Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox, 1990) is an American teen drama television series created by Darren...  more

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  • 8
    95
    53

    EastEnders

    Steve McFadden, Adam Woodyatt
    EastEnders is a British soap opera; the first episode was broadcast in the United Kingdom on...  more

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  • 9
    176
    138

    Revenge

    Emily VanCamp, Christa B. Allen
    Revenge (ABC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Mike Kelley, inspired by...  more

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  • 10
    136
    106

    The Colbys

    Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck
    The Colbys is an American prime time soap opera, which originally aired on ABC from November...  more

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  • 11
    81
    54

    Coronation Street

    Ian McKellen, Michelle Keegan
    Coronation Street is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since...  more

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  • 12
    123
    100

    Brothers and Sisters

    Mary Crosby, William Windom
    Brothers and Sisters is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from January to April 1979. The...  more

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  • 13
    160
    143

    Grey's Anatomy

    Chris Carmack, T.R. Knight
    Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 2005) is an American medical soap opera television series created by...  more

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  • 14
    136
    128

    The O.C.

    Benjamin McKenzie, Autumn Reeser
    The O.C. (Fox, 2003) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz. A...  more

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  • 15
    113
    106

    Peyton Place

    Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen
    Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes...  more

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  • 16
    62
    49

    Twin Peaks

    Catherine E. Coulson, Warren Frost
    Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark...  more

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  • 17
    87
    78

    Models Inc.

    Carrie-Anne Moss, Garcelle Beauvais
    Models Inc. is an American prime time soap opera that aired on the Fox television network...  more
  • 18
    92
    84

    Flamingo Road

    Mark Harmon, Morgan Fairchild
    Flamingo Road is an American prime time soap opera that aired on NBC. It was first seen as a...  more
  • 19
    120
    116

    Melrose Place

    Heather Locklear, Andrew Shue
    Melrose Place is an American television drama series broadcast on The CW from September 8,...  more

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  • 20
    59
    47

    Devious Maids

    Mark Deklin, Julie Claire
    Devious Maids is an American television comedy-drama series created by Marc Cherry, produced...  more

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  • 21
    127
    125

    Gossip Girl

    Blake Lively, Leighton Meester
    Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh...  more

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  • 22
    90
    98

    Savannah

    George Eads, Jamie Luner
    Savannah is an American prime time television drama that ran from January 21, 1996 to February...  more
  • 23
    78
    84

    Central Park West

    Raquel Welch, John Barrowman
    Central Park West is an American prime time television soap opera that ran from September 1995...  more
  • 24
    97
    111

    One Tree Hill

    James Lafferty, Hilarie Burton
    One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn....  more

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  • 25
    83
    94

    Nashville

    Chris Carmack, Will Chase
    Nashville (ABC, 2012) is an American musical drama television series created by Callie Khouri....  more

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