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Longest Running Daytime Dramas by Network

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Limited to the five longest runs for each network.



Guiding Light: June 30, 1952-September 18, 2009; 57 years, 80 days

As the World Turns: April 2, 1956-September 17, 2010; 54 years, 168 days

The Young and the Restless: March 26, 1973-present

The Bold and the Beautiful: March 23, 1987-present

Search for Tomorrow: September 3, 1951-March 26, 1982; 30 years, 204 days


The Young and the Restless surpassed Search for Tomorrow on Friday October 17, 2003.

The Bold and the Beautiful surpassed Search for Tomorrow on Monday October 16, 2017.



General Hospital: April 1, 1963-present

One Life to Live: July 15, 1968-January 13, 2012; 43 years, 182 days

All My Children: January 5, 1970-September 23, 2011; 41 years 261 days

Ryan's Hope: July 7, 1975-January 13, 1989; 13 years, 190 days

Loving: June 26, 1983-November 10, 1995; 12 years, 137 days



Days of our Lives: November 8, 1965-present

Another World: May 4, 1964-June 25, 1999; 35 years, 52 days

The Doctors: April 1, 1963-December 31, 1982: 19 years, 274 days

Santa Barbara: July 30, 1984-January 15, 1993; 8 years, 169 days

Passions: July 5, 1999-September 7, 2007; 8 years, 64 days


Top 5 Overall

Guiding Light

General Hospital

As the World Turns

Days of our Lives

The Young and the Restless


General Hospital surpassed As the World Turns on Monday September 18, 2017.

Days of our Lives will surpass As the World Turns on Monday April 27, 2020.

General Hospital will surpass Guiding Light on Monday June 22, 2020.



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Thanks for sharing! It's interesting aside from Days and AW that NBC Daytime always seemed destined to fail to sustain itself. Although not listed, even Edge's nine year run on ABC beats out both NBC's #4 and #5 while CBS's TSS 20 year run just barely eclipses The Doctors even. 

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Ugh at the idea that GH, which has been a hollowed-out shell of its former glory for at least ten years, will surpass Guiding Light (which in my opinion never sunk as low as GH has sunk for the last decade at least) as longest running on television. Makes me queasy to even think about it for too long.

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No soap will ever surpass GL’s 72 years. I don’t see it happening. GH would have to last another 17 years, Days another 19 years, Y&R another 27 years or B&B another 40 years. I don’t see ANY of that happening realistically. And I’m not sure why people insist on discounting HL’s radio years as if they never happened just because it was radio. That seems weird to me. 

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It will get turned into a lie.  The longest running daytime drama.  They’ll drop in “onTV”. It will be General Hospital.  Days will be longer running on TV and people will not know.  Then NBC will start with longest running Daytime show - Today. 

And they will claim the title by “on the same network”.  GL was on NBC radio.  The GH and ABC will go to no end to boost themselves.  Won’t matter that GH killed daytime.  They were the ones that really killed daytime and spurred Days and the rest of daytime to dumb down and get nuts. One Life to Live was just as bad or worse. 

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It's interesting that CBS's top 5 all have/had 30+ year runs, whereas ABC couldn't really build a successful show outside their big three and NBC only ever really had success w/ Days. I know Another World did well in it's early years but in it's last 20 years not so well.

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