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.
Premiered: 1978Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2,... more
Premiered: 1981Dynasty (ABC, 1981) is an American prime time television soap opera created by Richard and... more
Premiered: 1979Knots Landing is an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979... more
Premiered: 1992Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992 to May... more
Premiered: 1981Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for... more
Premiered: 2004Desperate Housewives (ABC, 2004) is an American mystery comedy-drama television series created... more
Premiered: 1990Beverly Hills, 90210 (Fox, 1990) is an American teen drama television series created by Darren... more
Premiered: 2011Revenge (ABC, 2011) is an American drama television series created by Mike Kelley, inspired by... more
Premiered: 1985The Colbys is an American prime time soap opera, which originally aired on ABC from November... more
Premiered: 2006Brothers and Sisters is an American sitcom that aired on NBC from January to April 1979. The... more
Premiered: 2012Devious Maids is an American television comedy-drama series created by Marc Cherry, produced... more
Premiered: 2005Grey's Anatomy (ABC, 2005) is an American medical soap opera television series created by... more
Premiered: 1964Peyton Place is an American prime-time soap opera which aired on ABC in half-hour episodes... more
Twin PeaksKyle MacLachlan, Russ Tamblyn
Premiered: 1990Twin Peaks (ABC, 1990) is an American mystery horror drama television series created by Mark... more
Premiered: 2003The O.C. (Fox, 2003) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh Schwartz. A... more
Premiered: 2009Melrose Place is an American television drama series broadcast on The CW from September 8,... more
Premiered: 2007Dirty Sexy Money is an American prime time drama series created by Craig Wright. It ran on ABC... more
Premiered: 2007Gossip Girl (The CW, 2007) is an American teen drama television series created by Josh... more
Premiered: 1980Flamingo Road is an American prime time soap opera that aired on NBC. It was first seen as a... more
Premiered: 1994Models Inc. is an American prime time soap opera that aired on the Fox television network... more
Premiered: 1983Hotel is an American prime time drama series which aired on ABC from September 21, 1983, to... more
Premiered: 2012Nashville (ABC, 2012) is an American musical drama television series created by Callie Khouri.... more
Premiered: 2012Scandal (ABC, 2012) is an American political thriller television series created by Shonda... more
Premiered: 1995Central Park West is an American prime time television soap opera that ran from September 1995... more
Premiered: 2003One Tree Hill (The WB, 2003) is an American drama television series created by Mark Schwahn.... more