The Longest-Running Soap Operas in Television History
Some TV dramas and comedies can last a decade or more before being cancelled, but they’re nothing compared to the world’s longest-running soap operas.
Despite airing five times a week on occasion, the shows have managed to provide us with plenty of melodrama over the years.
Over the past 70 years, the longest-running soap operas in television history have kept the audience entertained with everything from morsels of domestic British life to supernatural shenanigans in America.
Here are 15 of television’s longest-running soap operas…
Coronation Street is a British soap opera that airs on (1960-present)
Coronation Street, which first aired in December 1960 and is still on air today, claims the Guinness World Record for the longest-running soap opera, having aired for 61 years on British television screens this December.
With murders, tram crashes, bigamists, and affairs, the soap has provided many a watercooler moment.
Corrie, as it’s commonly known, also included Hayley (Julie Hesmondhalgh), the first transgender character in a British soap opera, and was even discussed in the press after Deirdre Rachid (Anne Kirkbride) was unfairly imprisoned.
General Hospital is a non-profit organization dedicated to (1963-present)
General Hospital is the longest-running soap opera in the United States, having debuted 58 years ago in April 1963.
The storylines of General Hospital, which is set in a hospital in Port Charles, New York, have generally centred around the Quartermaine and Spencer families, and the soap has spawned two spin-offs: Port Charles and General Hospital: Night Shift.
The wedding of Luke and Laura (Anthony Geary and Genie Francis) in 1981 was one of the most memorable moments in the show’s history, with their wedding drawing 30 million people and becoming the highest-rated hour in American soap opera history.
The Light That Leads (1952-2009)
Guiding Light beats out General Hospital if you add its time on the air as a radio serial (1937-1956) as well as a TV soap, although it only lasted 57 years on TV until being cancelled.
The Bauers, a German immigrant family initially presented in 1948 on the radio show, were the focus of the CBS show at first, but other main families were introduced throughout its run, including the Norrises, Marlers, Spauldings, Coopers, Lewises, and Reardons.
Guiding Light was canceled by CBS in 2009 owing to low ratings.
Days Of Our Lives This is a condensed version of the information.