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The 30 Longest-Running TV Shows of All Time

As the World Turns

With a 54 year run, As the World Turns saw the world turn quite a few times! The residents of Oakdale, Illinois struggle with making the right choices and also following their dreams in this soap. Interestingly, when it began airing in 1956, it was one of only two soaps that ran for 30 minutes. Until this point, most had only ever been 15 minutes long!  

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Sesame Street

This fun show for children has been on the air for 47 years! In that time, Big Bird, Elmo, and all of their friends have taught children valuable life skills and educational lessons!   

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Days of Our Lives

This soap opera has been on for 51 years, and it follows the victories and tragedies of three Salem families: the Hortons, the Bradys, and the DiMeras. Tune in for plenty of drama!

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The Price is Right

Everyone’s favorite game show has been on air for 45 years now! First hosted by Bob Barker and later by Drew Carey, contestants on this show guess the price of everyday retail items in hopes of winning lavish prizes.  

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General Hospital

General Hospital has been on the air for a whopping 54 years now, and in that time, the wealthy Quartermaine family has always managed to keep things interesting in the town of Port Charles. 

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Saturday Night Live

SNL is more relevant than ever, so it’s hard to believe it has been around for 41 years! This show’s standard formula of an A-lister host, entertaining sketches, and popular musical acts has proven itself to be timeless. 

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The Young and the Restless

The Young and the Restless chronicles the lives of Genoa City’s upper class. The Newmans and the Abbotts go back and forth between loving and hating one another in this series of 44 years. 

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Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

Mister Rogers' Neighborhood, which was on-air for 33 years, was one of the greatest shows of all time! Mr. Rogers hosted this high-quality, fun, and educational children’s show that touched the lives of millions. 

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Wheel of Fortune

This classic game show has contestants solve word puzzles in order to win extravagant prizes. Wheel of Fortune was created 33 years ago by Merv Griffin, and it is still going strong! 

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American Bandstand

This popular musical performance show ran for 32 years with such hosts as Dick Clark and David Hirsch. The show featured dancing, top 40 music, and at least one live performance per show. 

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The Oprah Winfrey Show

Oprah Winfrey has the classic “rags to riches” tale, and her talk show ran for 25 years. It sadly ended in 2011, but Oprah then got her own TV network! 

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Jeopardy is a twist on the classic game show. On this long-running show of 32 years, the answers are given to the contestants first, then they have to guess the questions. 

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All My Children

This classic soap opera was on the air for 41 years before it ended in 2013. This show tackled social issues, including AIDS and abortion, alongside its quintessential, dramatic main storyline.

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Captain Kangaroo

Captain Kangaroo was a very popular children’s show for 29 years. Bob Keeshan created the show and played the title character--he said he wanted to communicate the loving relationship between children and their grandparents in the show. 

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One Life to Live

This long-running show (45 years!) focuses on the ups and downs between the Lord, Buchanan, and Cramer families. Follow their adventures in Llanview, Pennsylvania!

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Cops is everyone’s favorite late night show to put on, but did you know it’s been on the air for 28 years? That’s a long time and a lot of arrests caught on live TV!

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The Simpsons

The longest-running animated comedy on television is The Simpsons, which has been around for 27 years! This comedy focuses on loveable dunce Homer Simpson, his family, and their wacky adventures.

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America's Funniest Home Videos

Anyone in America can submit a hilarious, amateur video to America’s Funniest Home Videos in hopes of winning a cash price! This entertaining show has been on the air for 27 years now. 

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The Jerry Springer Show

Everyone knows that if you want to veg out and watch some intense family drama, turn on The Jerry Springer Show. It’s popularity has kept it on the air for 25 years!

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Truth or Consequences

This wacky game show incorporated quiz elements and crazy stunts! It started as a radio show then moved to television, where it aired for 24 years. 

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Power Rangers

In this show of 24 years, five regular teens must save the world time and time again when it is threatened by aliens. On this journey, these teens discover themselves and the important things in life. 

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America's Most Wanted

John Walsh is a well-known victims' rights and missing children advocate, so he hosted America’s Most Wanted for 23 years. The goal of the show was to bring criminals to justice, and they succeeded in catching hundreds of them. 

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Reading Rainbow

LeVar Burton hosted this educational show for 23 years. In each episode, he used books, music, and history to teach reading skills, good habits, and a positive attitude!

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The Merv Griffin Show

The Merv Griffin Show aired for 22 years, and over those two decades, Merv sat down with countless celebrities, actors, writers, and directors to discuss pop culture and the issues of the day. 

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South Park

South Park has famously parodied current events and celebrities in a vulgar, hilarious way. It’s been on the air for 20 years now, so they must be doing something right!

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This classic cops and robbers show was on the air for 20 years. The show centers around Doc Adams and Kitty Russell, who kept everyone on their toes in Dodge City. 

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Law and Order

Law and Order is one of the most popular crime dramas on television. Over the past 20 years, it has shown us gripping tales of guilt and innocence, usually inspired by real events. 

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Judge Judy

Everyone’s favorite judge has been delivering both sick burns and legal verdicts for over 20 years now. Her fierceness and honesty is unparalleled! 

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The Daily Show

Currently hosted by Trevor Noah, The Daily Show is a longtime comedy and news favorite. It’s been on the air for 20 years and has also been hosted by Jon Stewart and Craig Kilborn. 

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Guiding Light

This is not only the longest-running soap opera but also the longest-running TV show period, with 59 years on the air! This show takes place in the fictional midwestern town of Springfield and follows the lives, love, and loss of several prominent families. 

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