I remember watching my grandmother enjoy her daily dose of soap operas. Yes, I’ll even cop to watching one when I was a teenager but it didn’t last but there are some that have been on the air for a very long time. I think for my grandmother, it was a way to keep her mind exercised after she suffered a stroke when I was 11. For me, it was the boy on there, such a cutie but after it was cancelled, I grew out of them.
There are 15 soap operas that ran at least 13 seasons but most ran for a much longer.
Coming in at fifteenth place is Ryan’s Hope. It broadcast on ABC for 13 seasons from 1975 to 1989 and focused on the story of an Irish-American Family, the Ryans who lived in Manhattan. During its time on television, it won two daytime Emmy awards for best series but it couldn’t keep up with changing times and went off the air in 1989.
In fourteenth place, The Doctor’s premiered in 1963. This NBC show focused on the staff, friends, family, and patients at the Hope Memorial Hospital located in Madison. Originally, the show presented individual stories but after a year, it went serial and followed the traditional soap opera format. It began as a black and white show but switched to color in 1966. The show went off the air after 19 seasons in 1982.
In thirteenth place, we have The Secret Storm starting in 1954. It shared the lives of the Ames family made up of a father and his three daughters over 20 seasons. This show is one of three long running soap operas created by Roy Winsor. This show is noted for having Joan Crawford step into the role her daughter had when the daughter became sick. This is unique because Joan while in her 60’s played the role of a 20 something. The show went off the air in 1974.
In twelfth place is Love of Life, another soap opera created by Roy Winsor that premiered in 1951. The stories centered on two sisters and their families. It began in Barrowsville, New York but later moved to Rosehill, New York when one of the sisters was written out. The show was cancelled in 1980.
In eleventh place is The Edge of Night began in 1956 on CBS but it later switched to ABC. It was a bit different because it combined mystery with the standard soap opera format. The story revolved around a crimefighter who was a daytime Perry Mason. It was broadcast live from 1956 until 1975 when it switched to ABC. It made history as one of the first two serials with 30 minute episodes. Up to this point, soap opera episodes were only 15 minutes.
In tenth place is CBS’s The Bold and The Beautiful premiering in 1987. The basic story revolves around the Forrester family and their fashion business in Los Angeles, California. The series began as a sister show for The Young and The Restless. Back in 2009, 2010, and 2011, it won Daytime Emmy’s for outstanding Drama Series. This show is still on the air and is one of four that has survived time.
In ninth place is Another World which made its appearance on NBC in 1964. The story took place in Bay Town, and told the stories of all the residents and their offspring because it lasted 35 years. This show was created by Irna Phillips, the female who created many of the original radio based soap operas and William Bell. This soap opera gave birth to Somerset and Texas, neither lasting as long as the parent show. The show went off the air in 1999.
On Monday, I’ll finish with the eight longest running shows including those still on the air. Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear. Have a great day.