Entertainment

Longest Running US Soap Operas

TVs Frank
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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.)
1
Knots Landing is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Michele Lee, Ted Shackelford, Joan Van Ark
14 Seasons. 344 Episodes.
2
The City is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Jennifer Esposito, Morgan Fairchild, Michael Weatherly
352 Episodes.
3
Dallas is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Larry Hagman, Ken Kercheval, Patrick Duffy
4
The Nurses is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Dustin Hoffman, Martin Sheen, Alan Alda
395 Episodes.
5
Return to Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Mary Frann, John Hoyt, Frank Ferguson
426 Episodes.
6
Generations is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Amy Yasbeck, Kelly Rutherford, Richard Roundtree
470 Episodes.
7
Sunset Beach is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Kelly Hu, Susan Ward, Laura Harring
755 Episodes.
8
Bright Promise is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Dabney Coleman, Coleen Gray, Anthony Geary
605 Episodes.
9
Texas is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Morgan Freeman, James Rebhorn, Catherine Hickland
617 Episodes.
10
Peyton Place is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Mia Farrow, Leslie Nielsen, Ryan O'Neal
514 Episodes.
11
A Flame in the Wind is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Richard Thomas, Margaret Ladd, Jane Elliot
515 Episodes.
12
Loving is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Julie Bowen, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Mitchell
3169 Episodes.
13
Ryan's Hope is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Morgan Freeman, Angela Bassett, Mary-Louise Parker
3515 Episodes.
14
As the World Turns is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Julianne Moore, Sarah Hyland, Ming-Na Wen
54 Seasons. 13858 Episodes.
15
Guiding Light is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Hayden Panettiere, Matt Bomer, Brittany Snow
57 Seasons. 15762 Episodes.
16
Another World is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe
8,89 Episodes.
17
Love of Life is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Dana Delany, Christopher Reeve, Roy Scheider
7500 Episodes.
18
The Edge of Night is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Martin Sheen, Marcia Cross, Lori Loughlin
7420 Episodes.
19
General Hospital is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Eva Longoria, James Franco, Kelly Monaco
12401 Episodes. Currently in production
20
Days of Our Lives is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Pamela Anderson, Shelley Hennig, Melinda Clarke
11679 Episodes. Currently in production
21
Search for Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Susan Sarandon, Viggo Mortensen, Kevin Bacon
9130 Episodes.
22
The Secret Storm is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Joan Crawford, Roy Scheider, Audrey Landers
5195 Episodes.
23
The Bold and the Beautiful is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Usher, Katherine Kelly Lang, Hunter Tylo
6036 Episodes. Currently in production
24
The Doctors is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Alec Baldwin, Kathleen Turner, Terry O'Quinn
5280 Episodes.
25
One Life to Live is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Longest Running US Soap Operas
Hayden Panettiere, Kourtney Kardashian, Marcia Cross
43 Seasons. 11096 Episodes.