Usually, just like music and fashion trends, TV shows come and go. A show can be all everybody talks about for a while, but after a year or two tops, it’s usually completely forgotten by the masses. But, in some rare cases, a TV show is so successful that it stays around for a lot longer. What do we mean when we say longer? We definitely don’t mean TV shows with 6 or 7 seasons, that’s nothing! We’re talking about shows that are old enough to buy a drink or old enough to parent someone who’s old enough to buy a drink! That’s the level we’re in. So check out our list about some of the longest running TV shows ever, can you guess which shows ran the longest?
20 Longest Running TV shows EVER
1. General Hospital
We hope we’re not gonna make you feel super old right now, but did you know that “General Hospital”, ABC’s medical soap opera first aired back in 1963? The show is still on to this day, making one of the longest-running shows in U.S history, and it has a Guinness World record to prove it! At 56 years, this show is old enough to be someone’s grandparent!
2. Days of Our Lives
“Days of Our Lives” is just two years younger than “General Hospital”. It first aired in 1965, making it 54 years old. NBC has already aired more than 13,000 episodes of the hit soap opera,
and has also renewed it till September 2020! It’s considered to be one of the most widely distributed soap operas in the U.S. Who knows, maybe it’ll even outlive “General Hospital”!
3. Sesame Street
This one is definitely not a soap opera, but one of the most beloved kids’ show ever!
Since the show mostly features puppets it has the advantage of the cast members always looking young and fresh! The show first premiered back in 1969 and it’s known for teaching kids the basics of both life and school. Can you believe that some of the show’s most iconic characters like cookie monster and Bert & Ernie have been around for 50 years?
4. The Young and the Restless
Another successful soap opera, can you believe “The Young and the Restless” has been around for 46 years and that more than 11,000 episodes have already aired? The show originally revolved around the wealthy Brooks family and the working class Foster family. The show has been running for such a long time, that at some point they just wrote the entire original cast out and started with two new core families. Soap operas have a bad reputation for not being the best that TV has to offer, but “The Young and the Restless” actually won 9 Emmy awards, nice! Just like “Days of Our Lives” it has been renewed till 2020.
5. Saturday Night Live
“Saturday Night Live” is responsible for launching the careers of some of America’s best comedians. Mike Myers, Eddie Murphy, and Tina Fey are just some of the comedians who have made a name for themselves on the show. “Saturday Night Live” is also known for featuring celebrity guests. This comedy show has everything it needs to stay fresh forever, even if it’s already 44 years old.
6. All My Children
“All My Children” may have been canceled back in 2011, but it’s still considered one of America’s longest running shows. It first premiered in 1970 and more than 10,000 episodes of the show were aired over the span of 41 years. We wish we could retire at 41! The show actually has the ninth-highest episode count among all TV shows from a sound the world the world. It was known for tackling controversial topics like AIDS and gay marriage.
7. Wheel of Fortune
Who doesn’t love Game shows? In this well known and well loved one luck plays a major role as contestants spin a wheel and solve word puzzles to win different prizes. The show had many different versions through the years, but the current version has been going strong since 1983, making the lucky “Wheel of Fortune” 36 years old.
Another great game show, “Jeopardy!” Is only one year younger than “Wheel of Fortune”, making it 35 years old. The show was created by Merv Griffin, and it’s known as the game show where contestants get the answer and must respond with a question. Just like “Wheel of Fortune” the show had many different iterations, it’s current version is hosted by Alex Trebek and has been running since September 10, 1984.
9. The Bold and the Beautiful
Did you know that” The Bold and the Beautiful” actually started out as a sister show to the great soap opera “The Young and the Restless”? It first premiered in 1987, making it 32 years old!
It’s set in Los Angeles, California and revolves around the Forrester family and their fashion house business. The show won an Emmy for almost every year it’s been on – 31 Daytime Emmys, that’s a crazy amount of Emmys, but they’re definitely well-deserved!
The Bold and the Beautiful
10. The Simpsons
Who doesn’t know and love The Simpsons? It first premiered back in 1989, making this funny cartoon 30 years old! But despite running over three decades already, the characters in the show don’t seem to age at all. If it were the case with us! The Simpsons aren’t just super funny, they also have 32 Emmys to show for it!
11. America’s Funniest Home Videos
Can you believe that “America’s Funniest Home Videos” has been on since 1989? Can you believe it’s still on today, even though we all have youtube accounts? We can’t either, but somehow this format managed to last for over 30 years and counting! The show is currently presented by no other than Alfonso Ribeiro, who you probably remember as Carlton from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
America’s Funniest Home Videos
12.The Real World
This one is really gonna make you feel old, but did you know that MTV’s “The Real World”, the reality show where strangers from a lot of different backgrounds move in together and have to get along, first premiered in 1992? “The Real World” is MTV’s longest running show, it has 32 seasons and a lot of different spin-offs. This show was around 7 years before “The Big Brother” first premiered.
13. Power Rangers
Did you know that “Power Rangers” is as old as the millennial who used to watch it when they were young? The show first premiered in 1993 and have been on the air ever since. Of course, the original audience of the show is already all grown up, but new audiences still get to experience the show. The characters and their costumes have changed, but the spirit of the show remains the same, even at age 26!
14. America’s Most Wanted
You’ve probably heard of “America’s Most Wanted” and seen it, but did you know that the show helped catch over 1000 criminals? Yep, that’s true, this show that aired from 1988 till 2012 and had a total of 25 seasons really helped to put some bad guys behind bars. It used to be Fox’s longest running show, but it was surpassed by the brilliant “Simpsons”.
Did you guys know that Arthur has been 8-years-old for over 20 years? This classic educational children’s show first premiered back in 1996. It tells the story of Arthur Read, his family, and friends in a fictional city called Elwood. Since the show first premiered many voice actors changes, but the show still has a spark that new audiences falling in love with it every single day.
16. South Park
Just like Arthur, South Park is another incredibly popular cartoon, but this one is not for kids!
The show was created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone back in 1997. It is known for it’s dark and crude humor that often causes controversy. “South Park” is known for offending pretty much everyone, no matter their Race, gender or opinion, but also for being one of the funniest shows on TV. And hey, despite being so offensive it has managed to stay on the air for 21 years and counting!
17. Law and Order
The legal drama first came on the air back in 1990 and run for 20 seasons, up until 2010.
The show was famous for being divided into two parts. In the first part, a case was investigated by the police, until they found a suspect and arrested him. In the second part of the show, the defendant was prosecuted and audiences could follow his trial. Many of the show’s plots were based on true crimes.
18. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?
This game show first premiered on ABC back in 1999 and was hosted by actor Regis Philbin. The format was pretty simple and straightforward, the contestant had to answer questions, and if he got all of them right, he won $1 million. The show was a hit and aired till 2014. There’s something about the hope of winning $1 million that got everybody hooked.
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
19. SpongeBob SquarePants
“SpongeBob SquarePants” is one of the best TV shows on Nickelodeon, but did you know it’s been on the air since 1999, which SpongeBob is way older than his target audience. Since it first aired the show has gained massive popularity and became a well-known franchise with many iconic characters.
20. The Bachelor
You may pretend you don’t watch, but we know you do. Trashy reality TV shows are a great way to unwind, and what’s better than watching a bunch of women locked up in a house fighting over a man they barely know? It’s a classic. The show has been on the air since 2002 and is now on its 23rd season. But despite being on the air for 17 years, only one couple that met on the show stayed together.