Longest Running Shows Longest Running US Drama Shows

TVs Frank
45.6k views 33 items

List of the longest-running TV drama shows in US history. These dramatic TV series have more episodes than any others in American television. Some of the shows ran and have since gone off the air or been canceled, while others remain ongoing and are still being produced. Typically, these shows were collected into "seasons" of television, each with a pre-set amount of episodes. Sometimes, these seasons were broken up, in some cases with years between production of the series, while still being considered the run of a single TV show. (Spin-offs and other shows that were reinvented and debuted as new series - for example, the "Law & Order" franchise - are not considered.) This list contains all the longest-running shows in the history of TV drama.

Of the longest-running drama series in United States TV history, only a few examples are still on the air, and all are from the police procedural genre. "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" is currently the longest-running dramatic show, with 229 episodes spaced out over 11 seasons. The second-longest-running current show as of the writing of this list was "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," with 224 episodes over 10 seasons. (The original "Law & Order" series ran for 20 seasons before airing the series finale on May 24, 2010.)

What are the longest running TV dramas? Take a look here and you'll see for yourself.

1
Lassie is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1954 22 Seasons. 588 Episodes. Lassie is an American television series that follows the adventures of a female Rough Collie dog named Lassie and her companions, both human and animal. The show was the creation of producer ...more

2
Law & Order is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1990 20 Seasons. 456 Episodes. Law & Order is an American police procedural and legal drama television series, created by Dick Wolf and part of the Law & Order franchise. It originally aired on NBC and, in ...more

3
Alfred Hitchcock Presents is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1955 14 Seasons. 456 Episodes. Alfred Hitchcock Presents is an American television anthology series hosted by Alfred Hitchcock. The series featured dramas, thrillers, and mysteries. By the time the show premiered on October ...more

4
Dragnet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1952 8 Seasons (from 4 "runs"). 450 Episodes. Dragnet is an American radio, television and motion picture series, enacting the cases of a dedicated Los Angeles police detective, Sergeant Joe Friday, and his partners. The show takes its name ...more

5
ER is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1994 15 Seasons. 331 Episodes. ER is an American medical drama television series created by novelist Michael Crichton that aired on NBC from September 19, 1994, to April 2, 2009. It was produced by Constant c Productions and ...more

6
Hawaii Five-O is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1968 12 Seasons. 278 Episodes. Hawaii Five-O is an American police procedural drama series produced by CBS Productions and Leonard Freeman. Set in Hawaii, the show originally aired for 12 seasons from 1968 to 1980, and ...more

7
Perry Mason is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1957 9 Seasons. 271 Episodes. Perry Mason is an American legal drama series originally broadcast on CBS television from September 21, 1957, to May 22, 1966. The title character, portrayed by Raymond Burr, is a fictional Los ...more

8
Murder, She Wrote is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1984 12 Seasons. 264 Episodes. Murder, She Wrote is an American television mystery series starring Angela Lansbury as mystery writer and amateur detective Jessica Fletcher. The series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes ...more

9
NYPD Blue is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1993 12 Seasons. 262 Episodes. NYPD Blue is an American television police drama set in New York City, exploring the internal and external struggles of the fictional 15th precinct of Manhattan. Each episode typically ...more

10
Baywatch is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1989 11 Seasons. 243 Episodes. Baywatch is an American action drama series about the Los Angeles County Lifeguards who patrol the beaches of Los Angeles County, California, starring David Hasselhoff. The show was canceled ...more

11
7th Heaven is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1996 11 Seasons. 243 Episodes. 7th Heaven is an American family drama television series, created and produced by Brenda Hampton. The series premiered on August 26, 1996, on The WB, the first time that the network aired Monday ...more

12
CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
2000 11 Seasons. 229 Episodes. Currently in production CSI: Crime Scene Investigation is an American crime drama television series that premiered on CBS on October 6, 2000. The show was created by Anthony E. Zuiker and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. ...more

13
JAG is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1995 10 Seasons. 227 Episodes. JAG is an American legal drama television show with a distinct U.S. Navy theme, created by Donald P. Bellisario, and produced by Belisarius Productions in association with Paramount Network ...more

14
Law & Order: Special Victims U... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1999 10 Seasons. 224 Episodes. Currently in production Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is an American police procedural, legal, crime drama television series set in New York City, where it is also primarily produced. In the style of the ...more

15
The Waltons is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1972 9 Seasons. 221 Episodes. The Waltons is an American television series created by Earl Hamner, Jr., based on his book Spencer's Mountain, and a 1963 film of the same name. The show is centered on a family in a rural ...more

16
Touched by an Angel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1994 9 Seasons. 212 Episodes. Touched by an Angel is an American supernatural drama series that premiered on CBS on September 21, 1994, and ran for 211 episodes and nine seasons until its conclusion on April 27, 2003. ...more

17
77 Sunset Strip is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1958 6 Seasons. 206 Episodes. 77 Sunset Strip is an American television private detective series created by Roy Huggins and starring Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., Roger Smith and Edd Byrnes. Each episode was one hour long. The show ...more

18
Little House on the Prairie is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
9 Seasons. 203 Episodes. Little House on the Prairie is an American Western drama television series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, ...more

19
Matlock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1986 9 Seasons. 195 Episodes. Matlock is an American television legal drama, starring Andy Griffith in the title role of criminal-defense attorney Ben Matlock. The show, produced by The Fred Silverman Company, Dean Hargrove ...more

20
Law & Order: Criminal Intent is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
2001 10 Seasons. 195 Episodes. Law & Order: Criminal Intent is an American police procedural television drama series set in New York City, where it was also primarily produced. Created and produced by Dick Wolf and ...more

21
Mannix is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1967 10 Seasons. 194 Episodes. Mannix is an American television detective series that ran from 1967 to 1975 on CBS. Created by Richard Levinson and William Link and developed by executive producer Bruce Geller, the title ...more

22
24 is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
2001 8 Seasons. 192 Episodes. 24 is an American television series produced for the Fox network created by Joel Surnow and Robert Cochran, and starring Kiefer Sutherland as Counter Terrorist Unit agent Jack Bauer. Each ...more

23
Charmed is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1998 8 Seasons. 179 Episodes. Charmed is an American television series created by Constance M. Burge and produced by Aaron Spelling and his production company Spelling Television, with Brad Kern serving as showrunner. The ...more

24
Diagnosis: Murder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1993 8 Seasons. 178 Episodes. Diagnosis: Murder is a mystery/medical/crime drama television series starring Dick Van Dyke as Dr. Mark Sloan, a medical doctor who solves crimes with the help of his son, a homicide detective ...more

25
L.A. Law is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1986 8 Seasons. 172 Episodes. L.A. Law is an American television legal drama series that ran for eight seasons on NBC from September 15, 1986 to May 19, 1994. Created by Steven Bochco and Terry Louise Fisher, it contained ...more

26
Mission: Impossible is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1966 7 Seasons. 171 Episodes. Mission: Impossible is an American television series that was created and initially produced by Bruce Geller. It chronicles the missions of a team of secret government agents known as the ...more

27
Magnum, P.I. is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1980 8 Seasons. 162 Episodes. Magnum, P.I. is an American television series starring Tom Selleck as Thomas Magnum, a private investigator living on Oahu, Hawaii. The series ran from 1980 to 1988 in first-run broadcast on the ...more

28
Fantasy Island is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1978 7 Seasons. 158 Episodes. Fantasy Island is an American television series that originally aired on the American Broadcasting Company network from 1977 to 1984. A revival of the series originally aired on the same network ...more

29
The West Wing is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1999 7 Seasons. 156 Episodes. The West Wing is an American serial political drama television series created by Aaron Sorkin that was originally broadcast on NBC from September 22, 1999, to May 14, 2006. The series is set ...more

30
Simon & Simon is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1981 8 Seasons. 156 Episodes. Simon & Simon is an American detective television series that originally ran from November 24, 1981 to January 21, 1989. The series was broadcast on CBS and starred Gerald McRaney and ...more

31
Ben Casey is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1961 6 Seasons. 153 Episodes. Ben Casey is an American medical drama series which ran on ABC from 1961 to 1966. The show was known for its opening titles, which consisted of a hand drawing the symbols "♂, ♀, ✳, †, ...more

32
Trapper John, M.D. is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1979 7 Seasons. 151 Episodes. Trapper John, M.D. is an American television medical drama and spin-off of the film MASH. Pernell Roberts portrayed the title character, a lovable surgeon who became a mentor and father figure ...more

33
Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Longest Running US Drama Shows
1993 6 Seasons. 150 Episodes. Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman is an American Western drama series created by Beth Sullivan and starring Jane Seymour who plays Dr. Michaela "Mike" Quinn, a physician who leaves Boston in ...more