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Longest Running US Soap Operas

TVs Frank
38.9k views 39 items
List of the longest-running soap operas in US history. These TV soaps 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 or even decades 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 are not considered.) This list contains all the longest-running soap operas in the history of US TV.

Because they typically run 5 days a week, long-running soap operas tend to have a staggering number of episodes, with some series coming close to or even breaking the 1000 episode barrier. The serialized nature of the programs means that they can run for many years - or even decades - continually, just by changing around the cast of characters as time passes. Before leaving the air in 2009, the CBS series "Guiding Light" was the longest-running drama series on television, and remains one of the record holders for the longest running broadcast programs of any kind in world history. (The show had debuted in 1937 as a radio serial, just days after the second inauguration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.)
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1
Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford & Joan Van Ark (CBS)
14 Seasons. 344 Episodes.
2
The City is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Jennifer Esposito, Morgan Fairchild & Michael Weatherly (American Broadcasting Company)
352 Episodes.
3
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval & Patrick Duffy (CBS)
4
The Nurses is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen & Alan Alda (CBS)
395 Episodes.
5
Return to Peyton Place ... is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Mary Frann, John Hoyt & Frank Ferguson (NBC)
426 Episodes.
6
Generations is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford & Richard Roundtree (NBC)
470 Episodes.
7
Sunset Beach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Sunset Beach Starring Kelly Hu, Susan Ward & Laura Harring (NBC)
755 Episodes.
8
Bright Promise is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Bright Promise
605 Episodes.
9
Texas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
617 Episodes.
10
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen & Ryan O'Neal (American Broadcasting Company)
514 Episodes.
11
A Flame in the Wind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
515 Episodes.
12
Loving is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston & Elizabeth Mitchell (Sky Soap)
3169 Episodes.
13
Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett & Mary-Louise Parker (American Broadcasting Company)
3515 Episodes.
14
As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland & Ming-Na Wen (Hulu)
54 Seasons. 13858 Episodes.
15
Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer & Brittany Snow (CBS)
57 Seasons. 15762 Episodes.
16
Another World is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford & Hugh Marlowe (NBC)
8,89 Episodes.
17
Love of Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Love of Life Starring Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve & Roy Scheider (CBS)
7500 Episodes.
18
The Edge of Night is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross & Lori Loughlin (CBS)
7420 Episodes.
19
General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Eva Longoria, James Franco & Kelly Monaco (American Broadcasting Company)
12401 Episodes. Currently in production
20
Days of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Pamela Anderson, Shelley Hennig & Melinda Clarke (NBC)
11679 Episodes. Currently in production
21
Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen & Kevin Bacon (CBS)
9130 Episodes.
22
The Secret Storm is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Joan Crawford, Roy Scheider & Audrey Landers (CBS)
5195 Episodes.
23
The Bold and the Beautif... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Usher, Katherine Kelly Lang & Hunter Tylo (CBS)
6036 Episodes. Currently in production
24
The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner & Terry O'Quinn (NBC)
5280 Episodes.
25
One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Starring Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian & Marcia Cross (American Broadcasting Company)
43 Seasons. 11096 Episodes.