Take A Look At The Longest-Running American TV Shows

Lassie - 19 Years

Animal lovers, this first series on our list is for you! Lassie was aired from 1954 to 1974 and it revolves around the Martin family and their adorable Collie named Lassie. This epic comedy-adventure comprises of 571 episodes, but to be honest, you'll get the picture after watching just the first two seasons.

Even though Lassie was supposed to be a female dog, all the pooches who played the role were male. And here's another fun fact! In order for the dog not to feel lonely on set, there would always be a few other collies and poodles behind the scenes to keep him company. How sweet is that?

Family Guy - 20 Years+

If you're a fan of dark humor, then this is what you're looking for! Family Guy is a comedy animated series that goes around the Griffins, a ridiculously dysfunctional family who tries to deal with their everyday struggles.

The series has been around since 1999 and it doesn't seem like it'll come to an end any time soon. Oh, and did you know that Peter Griffin was actually inspired by a real-life person? That's right, our favorite family patriarch was inspired by a security guard named Paul Timmins.

Law And Order - 20 Years

Are you a fan of crime-dramas? Then you've gotta give Law and Order a try. Each of the 456 episodes focuses on a particular crime, following both the police investigation as well as the prosecution in court.

The series began in 1999 and lasted until 2010. Also in 1999, the show's creators released a similar series titled Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which features a whopping 483 episodes and is still running. What's the difference between the two, you're probably wondering? This second show solely focuses on sexually related crimes and murders.

South Park - 24 Years+

South Park is one of the most hilarious animated adult shows ever, and there's no arguing about that. While some people despise the show's political incorrectness, others love its dark, witty, and satirical sense of humor.

The story focuses on the daily lives of four insolent students who live in the wacky, dysfunctional village of South Park. With 309 episodes, the series has been running non-stop ever since 1997 and it even has its own movie!

Arthur - 23 Years+

If you grew up in the 90s, then I'm sure you would always watch a quick episode of Arthur right before going to school. The show was created in 1996, but did you know that it's still running? That's right, a new season will be released this year!

This comedy series is based on the novels by Marc Brown and it centers on the life and adventures of Arthur, an 8-year-old aardvark (which, FYI, is kind of like an armadillo), and his family and friends. It's sort of like a coming-of-age series, but for primary school kids.

The Ed Sullivan Show - 23 Years

While TV series became a thing in the 80s, they actually go as far back as the 30s and 40s, or even before. Created in 1948, The Ed Sullivan Show was one of the first prime time variety shows in history, and it ran for almost 25 years. You won't guess how many episodes it has!

Believe it or not, a total amount of 1,070 episodes were released, and most of them would feature a wide range of music shows, sketches and vaudeville acts. The picture above shows one of the series's most iconic episodes ever: the time when The Beatles performed live in 1964.

America's Most Wanted - 25 Years

Is it me, or is there a total true crime frenzy these days? Each year, dozens of true crime movies and TV series hit the theaters and are streamed on Netflix, but you should know that this is a trend that began over three decades ago.

In 1988, the first episode of America's Most Wanted: America Fights Back was released. This iconic true crime documentary series featured the reenactments of different types of crimes, including interviews with witnesses and pictures of the wanted fugitives. As crazy as it sounds, nearly a thousand criminals were caught because of this show.

Power Rangers - 26 Years

The Power Rangers is one of those shows that just scream 90s, don't you think? It hit the screens in 1993 and it is still running, though the costumes and the plotline have changed quite a lot. We all wanted to change into those plastic costumes and save the world when we were kids, right?

This famous action show is actually a spin-off of a Japanese anime from the 70s called Super Sentai, though the American version proved to be far more successful. However, much of the fighting scenes from the Japanese version were used in the American spin-off.

The Edge Of Night - 28 Years

Let's take a trip down memory lane and relive one of the greatest crime dramas to ever hit the screen. Released in 1956, The Edge of Night left a mark in TV history, as back in those days, crime dramas still weren't a thing. On the very contrary, silly family comedies and soap operas were all you could find.

The show followed the steps of attorney Mike Karr and his colleagues as they tried solve crimes, sort of like a retro version of Law & Order. The show was aired until 1984 and all in all, it features 4297 episodes.

Cops - 31 Years

Cops was one of the first reality-documentary series in TV history. The show features real-life cops (or law-enforcement officers, to be precise) from different American cities and towns as they videotape their actions armed with nothing but a camera.

The show was such a success, that it paved the way for similar series to be created all over the world. It is actually still running and it already counts with over a thousand episodes. It just never grows old!

The Simpsons - 31 Years

The Simpsons is possibly the most iconic animated adult show of all time. It's been running since 1989, with a total of 684 episodes. Did you know that The Simpsons recently broke the world record for the longest running prime time series of all time?

This satirical comedy centers on the life of an average working-class family from Springfield and their long list of eccentric and bizarre neighbors and friends. Just like South Park, The Simpsons has its own movie, which was a massive hit by the way.

The Bold And The Beautiful - 33 Years

The Bold and the Beautiful is one of the oldest running soap operas in the world, and although its plot is quite mediocre, we can't help but acknowledge the fact that it made it through 8062 episodes! Beat that!

Can you believe that they film 8 episodes per week? If you do the maths, that means they produce nearly 250 episodes each year. Also, it happens to be the most watched soap opera on TV, with 26 million viewers per day.

Jeopardy! - 36 Years

Jeopardy! is one of the first quiz competitions in TV history and it's one of the longest-running shows in the world. It's been around since 1964 and fans still love it. I wonder if anyone has watched all of its 8175 episodes!

Instead of filming one episode per day, the studio shoots 5 episodes in only one day... meaning that TV host Alex Trebek must change suits 5 times in less than 12 hours! Jeopardy! has received more awards than any other American game show, so it'll be sticking around for a while I guess!

All My Children - 41 Years

Can you believe that drama-romance series All My Children has aired over 3900 episodes? How is that even possible? The legendary soap-opera hit the screen in 1970 and topped TV ratings until it was finally canceled in 2011.

Set in the fictional town of Pine Valley, the story focuses on Erica Kane and her endless list of couples and husbands. Producers attempted to relaunch the show in 2013, but it seems that fans were over it, as it was canceled after 40 episodes.

Saturday Night Live - 45 Years

NBC's legendary comedy series first hit the TV screen in 1975, and our Saturday nights haven't been the same ever since. Its 891 episodes feature witty sketches, stand-up routines, music shows, and much more!

Saturday Night Live launched the careers of many of our favorite stars, including Ashton Kutcher, Amy Poehler, and Tina Fey. Will Ferrell was the highest-paid celebrity to ever appear on the show, earning over $350,000 per episode.

The Young And The Restless - 46 Years

How can a soap opera last nearly half a century? God only knows, but the thing is that The Young and the Restless has been around since 1973 and nearly 7000 episodes have been aired.

The story goes around the struggle between two clans, the Abbots and the Newmans. Did you know that one of the actresses, Jeanne Cooper, played the role of Katherine Chancellor for four decades? That's gotta be a world record!

The Price Is Right - 48 Years+

A decade before Jeopardy! hit the screens, *The Price Is Right was premiered. In this silly game show, contestants, must compete for different prizes by guessing the prices of different items.

The show has been running since 1972 and already 8,961 episodes have been aired. All sorts of bizarre situations have taken place on the set, like the time a contestant got so excited that her top fell off!

Sesame Street - 51 Years+

Isn't it crazy that half a century has already passed since Sesame Street's first episode was aired? It's actually meant to be an educational program, where muppets teach kids valuable life lessons through songs, games, and even cartoons.

Did you know that the legendary rock band The Carpenters covered Sing a Song, one of the series' most famous songs? As many shows on this list, Sesame Street has its own movie released in 2015, while another one will hit the theaters in 2021.

Days Of Our Lives - 55 Years+

Days of Our Lives is not just the lousy soap opera where Joey Tribianni from Friends works at; it's also one of the longest-running TV shows in the globe! Aired since 1965, the show has 11764 episodes. Guinness, why don't you write that down!?

Set in the made-up city of Salem, the show centers around the lives, loves, and troubles faced by a group of friends. Bill Hayes and Susan Seaforth Hayes — who played the characters of Doug and Julie Williams — became one of the first onscreen TV couples to take their love offscreen.

As The World Turns - 54 Years

Everybody was shocked when they announced that the famous soap opera As the World Turns would be coming to an end back in 2010. The thing is, the series had been running since 1956, with 3319 episodes aired. I guess everyone figured it would last forever!

The series revolves around the lives of two upper class families: the Hughes and the Stewarts. As the World Turns was the first soap opera to be half an hour long, as back in the 40s, they only lasted 15 minutes.

General Hospital - 57 Years+

Medical dramas have become a trend ever since the 90s, but actually, the history of this sub-genre goes way back. The iconic medical soap opera General Hospital hit the screens in 1963, and guess what? It's been running ever since then!

I'm pretty sure that the show will break the world record any time soon, as it's been around for 56 years! It seems that its 6394 episodes are just not enough. The story centers on the lives and loves of a group of doctors from the 7th floor of a hospital in New York.

Guiding Light - 57 Years

Last but not least, our number 1! Guiding Light is a cheesy soap opera that was on for 7 decades, although it was aired on TV from 1952 to 2009. That means that it ran for 57 years!

The story is set in the fictional town of Springfield (though not the same Springfield than The Simpsons!) and focuses on the lives of the Bauers, a middle class family. Obviously, it holds the record for being the longest-running American soap opera in history, although General Hospital is touching their heels!