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7 Longest Running TV Soap Operas in The History of Television

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Only a few soap operas have managed to get the audience engaged and fewer have managed to keep everyone engaged for more than 10 years. There are some daily soaps which have been running for a long time but they are still well liked by people. Have you ever wondered what makes a TV series run for so long? Is it the actors? The storyline? Or is it something else entirely. There can be a number of reasons for a show’s continued success and it is not always a singular thing. To let you know more, we have compiled a list of the seven longest running TV soap operas.

1. Guiding Light 

Guiding Light started in the year 1952 and ran till the year 2009. It was one of the longest running TV shows which first started as a radio show in the year 1937. It had many changes over the years in both its starring cast and its plotline. But all the changes still kept the audience hooked—even the show’s most bizarre storyline did not scare anyone away.

2. The Young and The Restless 

The Young and the Restless is yet another soap opera that has managed to hold its own since 1973 and is still going strong. It is the third longest running TV series in US and has been the favorite of many people over the years. It was also responsible for making the careers of the actors starring in this daily show and had many memorable cameos from famous Hollywood actors. It is still one of the most popular day time soap operas and has managed to regularly secure the top position in the ratings chart.

3. The Bold and The Beautiful

The Bold and the Beautiful is also one of the most well-known soap operas around. Its popularity can be judged by the fact that people still search bold and the beautiful spoilers every time a new episode is aired. The show completed its 30th anniversary this year with many original cast members like Katherine Kelly Lang are still an important part of the show.

4. Days of Our Lives

Days of our Lives has been around for more than 50 years now and is still one of the most loved daily shows since its inception in the year 1965. This soap too retains most of its original cast members like Alice Horton who played Frances Reid till her death. The show is popular for its storyline and ensemble cast that has kept the audience hooked for so long. It was even mentioned in other TV shows like Friends, which created a fictionalized version of Days of our Lives in one of their storylines.

5. General Hospital

This much loved medical saga has enthralled and kept audience hooked since 1963. Many things have changed since then but the popularity of General Hospital is still the same as it was about 50 years ago.

6. Neighbors 

Neighbors is an Australian TV show and is fondly remembered for launching Kylie Minogue and also Jason Donovan, who played her lover on the show. The show was launched in the year 1985 and revolves around the residents of Ramsey Street. It had its ups and downs in ratings but is still admired for its offbeat storyline.

7. All My Children 

All My Children was much ahead of its times when it was first launched in the year 1970. The issues it tackled were all portrayed realistically and might be controversial at that time but they are still relevant now. This daily soap had a more serious tone but still made people’s heart move with topics like rape, drugs, abortion and homosexuality. A trivia fact to consider about one of the main actor Susan Lucci who was nominated for an Emmy in a row for 18 years before finally winning in the 1999.

These were some of the longest running TV shows in the history of television. There are others too but the ones mentioned here were our favorite ones. Tell us what you thought about our list by commenting below!


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