List of longest-running U.S. broadcast network television series

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This is a list of the longest running U.S. broadcast network television series, ordered by number of broadcast seasons.

To qualify for this list, the programming must originate in North America, be shown on a United States national (not regional) television network, and be first-run (as opposed to a repackaging of previously-aired material or material released in other media). For the purposes of this list, series that were available only on a local or regional basis are excluded. The "number of seasons" total does not include cable broadcasts or series in syndication.

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60 or more years[edit]

Series shaded in light blue are currently in production.
Length Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
Notes
68 years 68 Meet the Press (NBC News)[1] NBC November 6, 1947[2] present 4,843+ Longest-running show.
68 years 68 CBS Evening News (CBS News)[3] CBS May 3, 1948 present 16,400+ Longest-running network newscast.
64 years 64 Hallmark Hall of Fame[4] NBC December 24, 1951 December 17, 1978 243+ Not broadcast on a regular schedule, with only a limited number of productions per year.
CBS November 14, 1979 April 30, 1980
PBS February 9, 1981 May 6, 1981
CBS December 1, 1981 January 29, 1989
ABC April 30, 1989 April 23, 1995
CBS December 10, 1995 April 13, 2011
ABC[5] November 27, 2011 present
64 years 64 Today (NBC News) NBC January 14, 1952 present 15,785+
63 years 63 ABC World News (ABC News)[6] ABC October 12, 1953[7] present 15,722+
61 years 62 The Tonight Show[8] NBC September 27, 1954 present 11,800
61 years 61 Face the Nation (CBS News) CBS November 7, 1954 present 3,000+

50–59 years[edit]

Length Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
Notes
57 years 57 Guiding Light (CBS Daytime)[9] CBS June 30, 1952 September 18, 2009 15,762 Longest-running dramatic series of any genre. Longest-running daytime drama. While its television debut was on June 30, 1952, The Guiding Light's first incarnation was as a radio show, which premiered on January 25, 1937.
54 years 54 As the World Turns (CBS Daytime) CBS April 2, 1956 September 17, 2010 13,858
54 years 54 The Wonderful World of Disney [10] ABC October 27, 1954 June 11, 1961 1,224
NBC September 24, 1961 August 16, 1981
CBS September 26, 1981 May 3, 1983
ABC February 2, 1986 May 22, 1988
NBC October 9, 1988 August 26, 1990
Disney Channel September 23, 1990 August 25, 1996
ABC September 28, 1997 December 24, 2008
53 years 54 NFL on CBS CBS September 30, 1956 January 23, 1994 5,000+
September 6, 1998 present
53 years 53 General Hospital (ABC Daytime) ABC April 1, 1963 present 13,000+ As of February 24, 2014[11]
50 years 50 Days of Our Lives (NBC Daytime) NBC November 8, 1965 present 12,112+

40–49 years[edit]

Length Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
Notes
49 years 49 Washington Week[12] NET, PBS February 23, 1967 present 2,000+
48 years 48 60 Minutes (CBS News) CBS September 24, 1968 present
46 years 46 Sesame Street NET November 10, 1969 May 8, 1970 4,327 Longest-running children's show.[13]
PBS November 9, 1970 present
46 years 46 Monday Night Football ABC September 21, 1970 December 26, 2005 641+
ESPN September 11, 2006 present
46 years 46 NBC Nightly News (NBC News) NBC August 3, 1970 present NBC has had an evening broadcast since 1948, starting with Camel News Caravan, lasting until 1956, when it was replaced by Nightly News' predecessor the Huntley-Brinkley Report.
45 years 45 Wide World of Sports (ABC Sports) ABC April 29, 1961 August 2006[14]
45 years 45 Masterpiece Theatre PBS January 10, 1971 present
44 years 44 The Price Is Right (CBS Daytime)[15] CBS September 4, 1972 present 8,000+ Longest-running game show.
43 years 43 One Life to Live (ABC Daytime) ABC July 15, 1968 January 13, 2012 11,096 While the show has ceased airing as a television series it is still in production. As of April 29, 2013 the show had resumed airing now as a web series on the internet. It can be seen through Hulu, iTunes and YouTube.
43 years 43 Great Performances PBS November 4, 1972 present
43 years 43 The Young and the Restless (CBS Daytime) CBS March 26, 1973 present 10,200+
42 years 42 Nova PBS March 3, 1974 present 698
41 years 41 All My Children (ABC Daytime) ABC January 5, 1970 September 23, 2011 10,712 While the show has ceased airing as a television series it is still in production. As of April 29, 2013 the show had resumed airing now as a web series on the internet. It can be seen through Hulu, iTunes and YouTube.
41 years 41 The Victory Garden[16] PBS April 16, 1975 present
40 years 41 Saturday Night Live[17] NBC October 11, 1975 present 745 Is the longest-running sketch comedy show on American television.
40 years 40 PBS NewsHour[18] PBS October 20, 1975 present
40 years 40 Good Morning America ABC November 3, 1975 present 9,914+
40 years 40 Austin City Limits PBS January 3, 1976 present The 1st episode was a one-off filmed in 1974 and broadcast in 1975. It became a regular series in 1976.
40 years 40 Live from Lincoln Center PBS January 30, 1976 present[19]

30–39 years[edit]

Length Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
Notes
38 years 38 20/20 ABC June 6, 1978 present
37 years 37 Nightly Business Report[20] PBS January 22, 1979 present
37 years 37 CBS News Sunday Morning CBS January 28, 1979 present
37 years 36 This Old House PBS February 20, 1979 present 786+
37 years 36 The Woodwright's Shop[21] PBS 1979 present 429+
35 years 35 Professional Bowlers Tour (ABC Sports) ABC January 6, 1962[22] June 21, 1997
35 years 35 Search for Tomorrow (CBS and NBC Daytime) CBS September 3, 1951 March 29, 1982 9,130
NBC March 26, 1982 December 26, 1986
35 years 35 Another World (NBC Daytime) NBC May 4, 1964 June 25, 1999 8,891 Longest-running continuous title sequences on television
36 years 36 Nightline[23] ABC March 24, 1980 present
35 years 35 Noticiero Univision[24] Univision June 1, 1981 present
33 years 34 Nature PBS October 10, 1982 present 440+
34 years 35 Wall Street Week with Louis Rukeyser[25] PBS November 20, 1970 June 24, 2005
34 years 35 Evening at Pops PBS July 12, 1970 August 29, 2004
33 years 33 Mister Rogers' Neighborhood NET February 19, 1968 October 1970 895
PBS October 1970 August 31, 2001
32 years 33 MotorWeek[26] PBS 1982 present
33 years 33 Frontline PBS January 17, 1983 present 520+
32 years 32 Jeopardy! Syndication September 10, 1984 present 6,829+
31 years 31 Lamp Unto My Feet CBS November 21, 1948 January 21, 1979
30 years 30 American Bandstand[27] ABC August 5, 1957 November 5, 1987 4,134
30 years 30 Live from the Met[28] PBS 1977 2007

20–29 years[edit]

Length Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
Notes
30 years 30 Sábado Gigante[29] Univision April 12, 1986 September 19, 2015
29 years 29 Love of Life CBS September 24, 1951 February 1, 1980 7,316
29 years 29 Captain Kangaroo[30] CBS October 3, 1955 December 8, 1984
29 years 29 Hometime PBS November 1, 1986 present
29 years 29 The Bold and the Beautiful CBS March 23, 1987 present 6,500+
28 years 28 The Edge of Night CBS April 2, 1956 November 28, 1975 7,420
ABC December 1, 1975 December 28, 1984
28 years 28 Mystery![31] PBS February 5, 1980 2008
28 years 28 48 Hours[32] CBS January 2, 1988 present
27 years 28 American Experience PBS October 1, 1988 present 230+
27 years 27 Cops Fox, Spike TV March 11, 1989 present 903+
26 years 27 Ciao Italia with Mary Ann Esposito[33] PBS October 1, 1989 present Longest-running cooking program.
26 years 27 The Simpsons[34] Fox December 17, 1989 present 596 Longest-running animated series, longest running sitcom and longest running scripted primetime series.
26 years 26 America's Funniest Home Videos ABC November 26, 1989 present 500
24 years 25 Charlie Rose PBS September 30, 1991 present
24 years 24 Camera Three CBS January 22, 1956 January 21, 1979
PBS October 4, 1979 July 1, 1980
24 years 24 CBS Morning News[35] CBS September 2, 1963 January 9, 1987
24 years 24 Dateline NBC[36] NBC March 31, 1992 present 1,700+
23 years 23 The Ed Sullivan Show[37] CBS June 20, 1948 June 6, 1971 1,087
23 years 23 America's Most Wanted Fox February 1, 1988 June 18, 2011 940+
23 years 23 Lilias, Yoga and You[38] PBS 1976 1999
23 years 23 Reading Rainbow PBS June 6, 1983 November 10, 2006 155
23 years 23 The Late Show CBS August 30, 1993 present 3,796+ ...with David Letterman, ... with Stephen Colbert
22 years 22 The Original Amateur Hour[39] DuMont January 18, 1948 October 1949
NBC October 1949 September 1954
ABC October 1955 June 1957
NBC July 1957 October 1958
CBS May 1959 October 1959
ABC March 1960 September 26, 1960
CBS October 2, 1960 September 27, 1970
22 years 22 NASCAR on CBS CBS February 18, 1979 July 15, 2000
22 years 22 NFL on NBC[40] NBC 1975 1997
22 years 22 Fox NFL Sunday Fox September 18, 1994 present
21 years 20 The Late Late Show[41] CBS January 9, 1995 present 3,468+
21 years 21 Issues and Answers[42] ABC 1960 1981
21 years 21 Sneak Previews[43] PBS 1975 1996
21 years 21 Cookin' Cheap PBS 1981 2002
21 years 21 The New Yankee Workshop PBS January 1988 June 27, 2009 284
20 years 20 The Doctors NBC April 1, 1963 December 31, 1982 5,280
20 years 20 Law & Order NBC September 13, 1990 May 24, 2010 456
20 years 20 The Red Skelton Show NBC September 30, 1951 June 1953 672
CBS September 1953 June 1970
NBC September 1970 August 1, 1971

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Only its time on television is counted here; it began on radio (as American Mercury Presents: Meet the Press) in 1945
  2. ^ http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3403008/ns/meet_the_press-about_us/
  3. ^ CBS Television News 1948–51, Douglas Edwards with the News 1951–63
  4. ^ Originally Hallmark Playhouse radio series, was Hallmark Television Playhouse (1951–54)
  5. ^ http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/11/28/hallmark-hall-of-fame-has-rough-start-on-abc/
  6. ^ ABC Evening News 1953–65 and 1967–78; Peter Jennings and the News 1965–67; World News Tonight 1978–2006; World News with Charles Gibson 2000–09
  7. ^ http://www.poynter.org/uncategorized/74607/early-tv-anchors/
  8. ^ Includes the various permutations and re-brandings over the years, including The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
  9. ^ Originally The Guiding Light. Only its time on television is counted here; it began on radio January 25, 1937.
  10. ^ Disney anthology television series aired under a variety of titles, including Disneyland, Disney's Wonderful World of Color and The Magical World of Disney. The current title is The Wonderful World of Disney. See the main article for a complete broadcast history
  11. ^ Logan, Michael (February 15, 2014). "Exclusive: Sneak Peek at General Hospital's 13,000th Episode". TV Guide. Retrieved August 26, 2015. 
  12. ^ Originally Washington Week in Review
  13. ^ This only applies to the time that a children's program has broadcast nationwide. Technically a few other children's programs may have run longer in years/seasons than Sesame Street. Its just that some of those programs' seasons/years don't count as said programs weren't broadcast nationwide for their entire run.
  14. ^ Weekly broadcasts ended January 1, 1997; irregular airings afterward; officially ended with the absorption of ABC Sports into ESPN
  15. ^ Originally The New Price Is Right; longest-running game show in American television history.
  16. ^ Jim Crockett's Victory Garden, 1975–79
  17. ^ Originally NBC Saturday Night
  18. ^ Previously The Robert MacNeil Report (1975), The MacNeil/Lehrer Report (1975–83), The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour 1975–95, The News Hour with Jim Lehrer 1995–2009
  19. ^ Not currently on a regular schedule
  20. ^ Broadcast locally only on WPBT, 1979–81
  21. ^ Broadcast only in North Carolina, 1979–81
  22. ^ http://www.nydailynews.com/archives/sports/schenkel-roll-article-1.764305?pgno=1
  23. ^ Evolved from The Iran Crisis – America Held Hostage (1979–80)
  24. ^ Originally titled "Noticiero SIN" when Univision was known as SIN (Spanish International Network).
  25. ^ Became Wall Street Week with Fortune after original host was fired in 2002
  26. ^ Also syndicated, 1982–present
  27. ^ Continuation of Bandstand, which aired on WFIL 1952–57
  28. ^ Also known as The Metropolitan Opera Presents
  29. ^ Continuation of series that aired 1962–85 on Chile's Canal 13
  30. ^ Reruns aired in syndication, 1984–92
  31. ^ Started in 2008, Mystery! was absorbed into Masterpiece (the former Masterpiece Theatre) and airs under the banner Masterpiece Mystery!
  32. ^ Also called 48 Hours Investigates
  33. ^ America's longest-running cooking show, running consecutive episodes and consecutive seasons. While some believe Julia Child's series to have run longer, Child and other appeared in series with different names, hosts. Ciao Italia has been on the air since 1989.
  34. ^ Only its time as its own television show is counted here; it began on The Tracey Ullman Show as animated shorts. It is currently the longest-running prime time entertainment program with a consistent setting and recurring characters. While other prime-time shows have run longer, they are all news, sports, anthology or variety programs.
  35. ^ Morning 1979–82
  36. ^ Also known as Dateline (day of week it airs), Dateline With Stone Phillips
  37. ^ Aired as Toast of the Town until 1955
  38. ^ Local transmission only (WCET), 1972–96
  39. ^ Originated on radio as Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour, 1934–46
  40. ^ Originally GrandStand, then changed name to reflect year; was also NFL Live 1987–97
  41. ^ Host: Tom Snyder 1995–99, Craig Kilborn 1999–2004, Craig Ferguson 2004–
  42. ^ Originally ABC Press Conference; succeeded in time slot by This Week
  43. ^ Originally Opening Soon at a Theater Near You (1975–77); Sneak Previes Goes Video 1989–91