soap operas The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time  

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From daytime to primetime, soap operas have been a staple of television since Faraway Hill first aired in 1946. However, it wasn’t until the 50s that soaps really took off. Many of the most popular soap operas from the 50s first began as radio programs. For the next 6 decades, soap operas ruled the airways during both daytime and primetime, becoming obsessions for millions of people. Many of these soap operas spanned decades, introducing many new characters and twisty plots all the time.

Many soaps dealt with the same types of settings. Days of Our LivesGeneral Hospital, and The Doctors were all set in hospitals, while many other popular soaps like Dynasty surrounded the lives of wealthy families. There were also a few supernatural soap operas over the years, such as Dark ShadowsPassions, and Port Charles.

As the World TurnsGeneral Hospital, and The Young and the Restless were the highest rated soaps at one point in time. Primetime soaps, airing only once a week, have become incredibly popular as well.

What are the best soap operas ever? This list of the best soap operas of all time has been ranked by the community. Cast your votes for the greatest soap operas below and see how the soaps you think are great rank.

1
380 222
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dallas Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy Dallas is a long-running American prime time television soap opera that aired from April 2, 1978, to May 3, 1991, on CBS. The series revolves around a wealthy and feuding Texan family, the ...more

2
331 264
Dynasty is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dynasty John Forsythe, Linda Evans, Joan Collins Dynasty is an American prime time television soap opera that aired on ABC from January 12, 1981 to May 11, 1989. The series, created by Richard and Esther Shapiro and produced by Aaron Spelling, ...more

3
335 214
Days of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

4
308 233
The Young and the Restless is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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
225 209
Dark Shadows is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

6
207 240
Melrose Place is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Melrose Place Heather Locklear, Andrew Shue, Courtney Thorne-Smith Melrose Place is an American primetime soap opera that aired on Fox from July 8, 1992 to May 24, 1999, for seven seasons. The show follows the lives of a group of young adults living in an ...more

7
250 191
Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Knots Landing Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark Knots Landing is an American primetime television soap opera that aired from December 27, 1979 to May 13, 1993 on CBS. A spin-off of Dallas, it was set in a fictitious coastal suburb of Los ...more

8
324 189
General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

9
177 193
Falcon Crest is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Falcon Crest Jane Wyman, Lorenzo Lamas, Chao Li Chi Falcon Crest is an American primetime television soap opera which aired on the CBS network for nine seasons, from December 4, 1981 to May 17, 1990. A total of 227 episodes were produced. The ...more

10
191 188
The Bold and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

11
252 154
All My Children is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

12
183 175
Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

Famous Schizophrenics

13
184 151
As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

14
102 160
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

15
216 161
One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

16
135 191
EastEnders is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
EastEnders Steve McFadden, Adam Woodyatt, Pam St. Clement EastEnders is a British soap opera; the first episode was broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 19 February 1985. EastEnders storylines examine the domestic and professional lives of the ...more

17
156 132
Another World is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

The Best '90s Daytime Soap Operas

18
122 165
Coronation Street is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Coronation Street Ian McKellen, Michelle Keegan, Helen Flanagan Coronation Street is a British soap opera created by Granada Television and shown on ITV since 1960. The programme centres on Coronation Street in Weatherfield, a fictional town based on ...more

19
76 131
Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

20
137 176
Passions is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

21
145 148
Santa Barbara is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

22
68 105
Dynasty: The Reunion is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Dynasty: The Reunion Heather Locklear, Joan Collins, Linda Evans Dynasty: The Reunion is a 1991 miniseries reuniting the characters from the American prime time television soap opera Dynasty, a series which aired on ABC from 1981 to 1989 and was the ...more

The Best Current Daytime TV Shows

23
93 86
Bewitched is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Bewitched Elizabeth Montgomery, Dick York, Dick Sargent Bewitched is an American TV situation comedy fantasy which was broadcast for eight seasons on ABC from 1964 to 1972. It was created by Sol Saks under executive director Harry Ackerman, and ...more

24
71 148
Hollyoaks is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
dee123 added Hollyoaks Gemma Atkinson, Roxanne McKee, Emma Rigby Hollyoaks is a British soap opera, first broadcast on Channel 4 on 23 October 1995. It was originally devised by Phil Redmond, who had also devised the Channel 4 soap Brookside. The programme is ...more

25
46 135
Central Park West is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
JonathanWilliams added Central Park West Raquel Welch, John Barrowman, Lauren Hutton Central Park West is an American prime time television soap opera that ran from September 1995 to June 1996 on CBS. The series was created and executive produced by Melrose Place's Darren Star. ...more

26
74 122
The Colbys is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
The Colbys Charlton Heston, Barbara Stanwyck, Katharine Ross The Colbys is an American prime time soap opera, which originally aired on ABC from November 20, 1985 to March 26, 1987. Produced by Aaron Spelling, it was a spin-off of Dynasty, which had been ...more

27
68 148
Neighbours is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
dee123 added Neighbours Kylie Minogue, Russell Crowe, Margot Robbie Neighbours is an Australian television soap opera. It was first broadcast on the Seven Network on 18 March 1985. It was created by TV executive Reg Watson, who proposed the idea of making a show ...more

The Best Princess Movies

28
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Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

29
93 109
The Edge of Night is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

30
52 137
Models Inc. is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
RichardBeecher added Models Inc. Carrie-Anne Moss, Garcelle Beauvais, Emma Samms Models Inc. is an American prime time soap opera that aired on the Fox television network during the 1994–95 television season. It is the third series in the Beverly Hills, 90210 franchise. The ...more

31
70 146
The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

32
67 80
General Hospital: Night Shift is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
General Hospital: Night Shift Billy Dee Williams, Nazanin Boniadi, Antonio Sabàto General Hospital: Night Shift is an American prime time serial that first aired on Soapnet for a 13-episode run from July 12, 2007 to October 4, 2007. A spin-off of the ABC Daytime soap opera ...more

The Best Adult Animated Shows On Netflix

33
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Emmerdale is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Emmerdale Jenna Coleman, Patsy Kensit, Sammy Winward Emmerdale, known as Emmerdale Farm until 1989, is a long-running British soap opera set in Emmerdale, a fictional village in the Yorkshire Dales. Created by Kevin Laffan, Emmerdale Farm was ...more

34
76 128
Home and Away is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
dee123 added Home and Away Isla Fisher, Chris Hemsworth, Melissa George Home and Away is an Australian television soap opera. It was created by Alan Bateman and has been produced in Sydney, New South Wales since July 1987. It commenced broadcast on the Seven Network ...more

35
50 112
Flamingo Road is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
SusanChildressBatey added Flamingo Road Mark Harmon, Morgan Fairchild, Stella Stevens Flamingo Road is an American prime time soap opera that aired on NBC. It was first seen as a TV movie on May 12, 1980, and as a series on January 6, 1981, after a rebroadcast of the pilot on ...more

36
51 102
Capitol is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

37
41 105
Brookside is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
JonathanWilliams added Brookside Anna Friel, Jennifer Ellison, Claire Sweeney Brookside was a British soap opera set in Liverpool, England. The series began on the launch night of Channel 4 on 2 November 1982, and ran for 21 years until 4 November 2003. Originally ...more

The 42 Greatest Old Spice Commercials of All Time

38
27 74
Return to Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

39
41 83
Doctors is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Doctors Robert Cavanah, Ian Kelsey, Chris Walker Doctors is a British medical soap opera which first broadcast in the United Kingdom on BBC One on 27 March 2000. Set in the fictional Midlands town of Letherbridge, defined as being close to the ...more

40
45 102
Savannah is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Savannah George Eads, Jamie Luner, Robyn Lively Savannah is an American prime time television drama that ran from January 21, 1996 to February 24, 1997 on The WB. It was created by Constance M. Burge and produced by Aaron Spelling.

41
47 108
Loving is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

42
55 55
Sunset Beach is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
julie Nnyanzi added Sunset Beach Kelly Hu, Susan Ward, Laura Harring 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 ...more

The Best Current TV Shows No One Is Watching

43
27 71
Pacific Palisades is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Pacific Palisades Joan Collins, Michelle Stafford, Finola Hughes Pacific Palisades is an American soap opera that aired on Fox during prime time from April to July 1997. Produced by Aaron Spelling, the show was cancelled after just thirteen episodes despite a ...more

44
31 80
Love Is a Many Splendored Thin... is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

45
33 61
The Secret Storm is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

46
37 99
Love of Life is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

47
59 64
Port Charles is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
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

48
23 69
Family Affairs is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Family Affairs Sasha Pieterse, Cyril Nri, Antony Booth Family Affairs was a British soap opera that was aired on Channel 5. It debuted 30 March 1997 and screened as five thirty minute episodes each week. The series never achieved high ratings, so ...more

49
22 69
A Country Practice is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
A Country Practice Nicole Kidman, Ryan Kwanten, David Wenham A Country Practice was an Australian television drama series. It ran on the Seven Network for 1,058 episodes at 7.30 pm Monday and Tuesday nights, from 18 November 1981 to 22 November 1993. It ...more

50
20 63
Our Private World is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Soap Operas of All Time
Our Private World Geraldine Fitzgerald, Nicolas Coster, Kenneth Tobey Our Private World is an American serial. It was the first prime-time spin-off from a daytime soap. Created by Irna Phillips and William J. Bell, it premiered on May 5, 1965 and aired Wednesdays ...more