Longest Running US Soap Operas

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.)
Ranked by
  • Knots Landing
    Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark
    • Premiered: December 27, 1979
    14 Seasons. 344 Episodes.
  • The City
    Jennifer Esposito, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Weatherly
    • Premiered: November 13, 1995
    352 Episodes.
  • Dallas
    Larry Hagman, Patrick Duffy, Linda Gray
    • Premiered: April 2, 1978
  • Days of Our Lives
    Suzanne Rogers, Lauren Koslow, Josh Taylor
    • Premiered: November 8, 1965

    14000 Episodes. Currently in production

  • The Nurses
    Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Alan Alda
    • Premiered: September 27, 1962
    395 Episodes.
  • Return to Peyton Place
    Mary Frann, John Hoyt, Frank Ferguson
    • Premiered: April 3, 1972
    426 Episodes.
  • Generations
    Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford, Richard Roundtree
    • Premiered: March 27, 1989
    470 Episodes.
  • Sunset Beach
    Kelly Hu, Susan Ward, Laura Harring
    • Premiered: January 6, 1997
    755 Episodes.
  • Bright Promise
    Dabney Coleman, Coleen Gray, Anthony Geary
    • Premiered: September 29, 1969
    605 Episodes.
  • Texas
    Morgan Freeman, James Rebhorn, Catherine Hickland
    • Premiered: August 4, 1980
    617 Episodes.
  • Peyton Place
    Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen, Ryan O'Neal
    • Premiered: September 15, 1964
    514 Episodes.
  • A Flame in the Wind
    Richard Thomas, Margaret Ladd, Jane Elliot
    • Premiered: December 28, 1964
    515 Episodes.
  • Loving
    Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Mitchell
    • Premiered: June 26, 1983
    3169 Episodes.
  • Ryan's Hope
    Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker
    • Premiered: July 7, 1975
    3515 Episodes.
  • As the World Turns
    Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland, Ming-Na Wen
    • Premiered: April 2, 1956
    54 Seasons. 13858 Episodes.
  • Guiding Light
    Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer, Brittany Snow
    • Premiered: January 25, 1937
    57 Seasons. 15762 Episodes.
  • Another World
    Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe
    • Premiered: May 4, 1964
    8,89 Episodes.
  • Love of Life
    Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider
    • Premiered: September 24, 1951
    7500 Episodes.
  • The Edge of Night
    Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross, Lori Loughlin
    • Premiered: April 2, 1956
    7420 Episodes.
  • General Hospital
    Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Michael Easton
    • Premiered: April 1, 1963
    12401 Episodes. Currently in production
  • Search for Tomorrow
    Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon
    • Premiered: September 3, 1951
    9130 Episodes.
  • The Secret Storm
    Joan Crawford, Roy Scheider, Audrey Landers
    • Premiered: February 1, 1954
    5195 Episodes.
  • The Bold and the Beautiful
    Katherine Kelly Lang, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Thorsten Kaye
    • Premiered: March 23, 1987
    6036 Episodes. Currently in production
  • The Doctors
    Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Terry O'Quinn
    • Premiered: April 1, 1963
    5280 Episodes.
  • One Life to Live
    Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross
    • Premiered: July 15, 1968
    43 Seasons. 11096 Episodes.