List of longest-running U.S. primetime television series with continuing characters
This is a list of the longest-running primetime television series with continuing characters in the United States. Only shows that have run on a traditional broadcast network for seven or more seasons are included. Those that moved to cable, syndication or streaming are noted below.
|Series shaded in light blue are currently on the air.|
|Series||Network||First air date||Last air date||Number of|
|21||Law & Order: Special Victims Unit||NBC||1999-09-20||Present||472|
|20||Law & Order||NBC||1990-09-13||2010-05-24||456|
|15||CSI: Crime Scene Investigation||CBS||2000-10-06||2015-02-15||335|
|15||Supernatural||WB (Season 1)
CW (Seasons 2-)
|15||The Jack Benny Show||CBS (Seasons 1-14)
NBC (Season 15)
|14||The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet||ABC||1952-10-03||1966-04-23||434|
|13||All in the Family||CBS||1971-01-12||1983-04-04||302|
|13||King of the Hill||FOX||1997-01-12||2009-09-13||255|
|12||My Three Sons||ABC (Seasons 1-5)
CBS (Seasons 6-12)
|12||The Lucy Show||CBS||1962-10-01||1974-03-18||300|
|12||The Big Bang Theory||CBS||2007-09-24||2019-05-16||279|
|12||Murder, She Wrote||CBS||1984-09-30||1996-05-19||264|
|12||Two and a Half Men||CBS||2003-09-22||2015-02-19||262|
|11||The Danny Thomas Show||ABC (Seasons 1-4)
CBS (Seasons 5-11)
|11||Married... with Children||FOX||1987-04-05||1997-06-09||258|
|11||NCIS: Los Angeles||CBS||2009-09-22||Present||253|
|11||7th Heaven||WB (Seasons 1-10)
CW (Season 11)
|11||Will & Grace||NBC||1998-09-21||Present||238|
|10||Beverly Hills, 90210||FOX||1990-10-04||2000-05-17||293|
|10||JAG||NBC (Season 1)
CBS (Seasons 2-10)
|10||Smallville||WB (Seasons 1-5)
CW (Seasons 6-10)
|10||Columbo||NBC (Seasons 1-7)
ABC (Seasons 8-10)
|09||The Beverly Hillbillies||CBS||1962-09-26||1971-03-23||274|
|09||The Love Boat||ABC||1977-09-24||1986-05-24||244|
|09||The Drew Carey Show||ABC||1995-09-13||2004-09-08||233|
|09||Family Matters||ABC (Seasons 1-8)
CBS (Season 9)
|09||Touched by an Angel||CBS||1994-09-21||2003-04-27||212|
|09||Everybody Loves Raymond||CBS||1996-09-13||2005-05-16||210|
|09||One Day at a Time||CBS||1975-12-16||1984-05-28||209|
|09||How I Met Your Mother||CBS||2005-09-19||2014-03-31||208|
|09||The King of Queens||CBS||1998-09-21||2007-05-14||207|
|09||Little House on the Prairie||NBC||1974-09-11||1983-03-21||204|
|09||The Facts of Life||NBC||1979-08-24||1988-05-07||201|
|09||Matlock||NBC (Seasons 1-6)
ABC (Seasons 7-9)
|09||One Tree Hill||WB (Seasons 1-3)
CW (Seasons 4-9)
|09||Scrubs||NBC (Seasons 1-7)
ABC (Seasons 8-9)
|08||The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show||CBS||1950-10-12||1958-09-15||291|
|08||Wagon Train||NBC (Seasons 1-5)
ABC (Seasons 6-8)
|08||The Donna Reed Show||ABC||1958-09-24||1966-03-19||275|
|08||The Andy Griffith Show||CBS||1960-10-03||1968-04-01||249|
|08||The Cosby Show||NBC||1984-09-20||1992-04-30||201|
|08||Walker, Texas Ranger||CBS||1993-04-21||2001-05-19||201|
|08||That '70s Show||FOX||1998-08-23||2006-05-18||200|
|08||Who's the Boss?||ABC||1984-09-20||1992-04-25||196|
|08||Diff'rent Strokes||NBC (Seasons 1-7)
ABC (Season 8)
|08||According to Jim||ABC||2001-10-03||2009-06-02||182|
|08||Laverne & Shirley||ABC||1976-01-27||1983-05-10||178|
|08||Girlfriends||UPN (Seasons 1-6)
CW (Seasons 7-8)
|08||The Vampire Diaries||CW||2009-09-10||2017-03-10||171|
|08||Last Man Standing||ABC (Seasons 1-6)
FOX (Seasons 7-)
|08||Simon & Simon||CBS||1981-11-24||1989-01-21||156|
|07||Captain Video and His Video Rangers||DuMont||1949-06-27||1955-04-01||273|
|07||The Golden Girls||NBC||1985-09-14||1992-05-09||180|
|07||Star Trek: Voyager||UPN||1995-01-16||2001-05-23||172|
|07||Marcus Welby, M.D.||ABC||1969-09-23||1976-05-04||169|
|07||The Mary Tyler Moore Show||CBS||1970-09-19||1977-03-19||168|
|07||Mad About You||NBC||1992-09-23||1999-05-24||164|
|07||Sabrina, the Teenage Witch||ABC (Seasons 1-4)
WB (Seasons 5-7)
|07||Without a Trace||CBS||2002-09-26||2009-05-19||160|
|07||Step by Step||ABC (Seasons 1-6)
CBS (Season 7)
|07||Boy Meets World||ABC||1993-09-24||2000-05-05||158|
|07||The West Wing||NBC||1999-09-22||2006-05-14||156|
|07||The Good Wife||CBS||2009-09-22||2016-05-08||156|
|07||Once Upon a Time||ABC||2011-10-23||2018-05-18||155|
|07||Gilmore Girls||WB (Seasons 1-6)
CW (Season 7)
|07||Trapper John, M.D.||CBS||1979-09-23||1986-09-04||151|
|07||Malcolm in the Middle||FOX||2000-01-09||2006-05-14||151|
|07||Just Shoot Me!||NBC||1997-03-04||2003-08-16||148|
|07||The Dukes of Hazzard||CBS||1979-01-26||1985-02-08||146|
|07||Hill Street Blues||NBC||1981-01-15||1987-05-12||146|
|07||Buffy the Vampire Slayer||WB (Seasons 1-5)
UPN (Seasons 6-7)
|07||In the Heat of the Night||NBC (Seasons 1-5)
CBS (Seasons 6-7)
|07||Brooklyn Nine-Nine||FOX (Seasons 1-5)
NBC (Seasons 6-)
|07||Medium||NBC (Seasons 1-5)
CBS (Seasons 6-7)
|07||Cagney & Lacey||CBS||1982-03-25||1988-05-16||125|
|07||Parks and Recreation||NBC||2009-04-09||2015-02-24||125|
|07||Homicide: Life on the Street||NBC||1993-01-31||1999-05-21||122|
|07||Rules of Engagement||CBS||2007-02-05||2013-05-20||100|
- Lists of longest running U.S. shows by broadcast type:
- List of longest-running United States television series
- List of longest-running U.S. broadcast network television series
- List of longest-running U.S. cable television series
- List of longest-running U.S. first-run syndicated television series
- List of longest-running U.S. primetime television series
- Gunsmoke was a half-hour in its first six seasons and a full hour for the rest of its run. The half-hour edition was retitled Marshal Dillon in syndication.
- Family Guy has six full-hour episodes with two production codes, making each of them count as two episodes - "Blue Harvest", "Something, Something, Something, Dark Side", "And Then There Were Fewer", "Road to the North Pole", "It's a Trap!" and "The Simpsons Guy". Additionally, there are two episodes that did not originally air on FOX, bringing the total to 345. "When You Wish Upon a Weinstein" originally aired on Adult Swim and "Partial Terms of Endearment" originally aired on BBC Three. They were both first released on DVD.
- Lassie ran for two more seasons in syndication, officially ending on March 24, 1973 after 591 episodes.
- CSI: Crime Scene Investigation officially ended with the movie "Immortality" on September 27, 2015, bringing the episode total to 337.
- For its last four seasons, All in the Family was reformatted as Archie Bunker's Place.
- Four more episodes of King of the Hill aired after its official final broadcast, bringing the total to 259.
- For its last six seasons, The Lucy Show was reformatted as Here's Lucy.
- For its first three seasons, The Danny Thomas Show aired as Make Room for Daddy.
- Murphy Brown originally ended on May 18, 1998 after ten seasons and a total of 247 episodes.
- Married... with Children has one episode that did not originally air on FOX – "I'll See You in Court" – bringing the total to 259.
- Happy Days officially ended on May 8, 1984 after 250 episodes. Five more episodes were broadcast from June 28 to September 24.
- The Jeffersons officially ended on April 30, 1985 after 249 episodes. Four more were broadcast from June 4 to July 2.
- Will & Grace originally ended on May 18, 2006 after eight seasons and a total of 194 episodes.
- The X-Files originally ended on May 19, 2002 after nine seasons and a total of 202 episodes. The tenth season is a six-episode event series that aired in 2016. The eleventh season is a ten-episode event series that aired in 2018.
- The number of seasons of American Dad! is disputed. While some sources claim 2013–14 is its ninth season, its Wikipedia articles treat it as the 10th season.
- American Dad! moved to TBS in 2014 for additional seasons.
- Roseanne originally ended on May 20, 1997 after nine seasons and a total of 222 episodes.
- JAG has one episode that did not originally air on NBC – "Skeleton Crew" – bringing the total to 227.
- Columbo began with two pilot movies on NBC and ended with eight specials on ABC.
- In its final season, the title of The Virginian was changed to The Men from Shiloh.
- The Love Boat had two pilot movies that aired on September 18, 1976 and January 21, 1977.
- The Waltons began on December 19, 1971 with the TV movie The Homecoming: A Christmas Story.
- In its final season, the title of Little House on the Prairie was changed to Little House: A New Beginning.
- Matlock began with a pilot movie on March 3, 1986.
- Another four seasons of Dragnet were broadcast from January 12, 1967 to April 16, 1970, bringing the season total to 12 and the episode total to 374.
- An additional season of Mama aired on Sunday afternoons, bringing the episode total to 283.
- Ironside began with the pilot movie A Man Called Ironside on March 28, 1967.
- Ironside had three additional episodes after its official final broadcast, bringing the total to 199.
- In 2014, 24 returned to television with the 12-episode event series 24: Live Another Day, bringing the season total to nine and the episode total to 204.
- Three's a Crowd - which aired from September 25, 1984 to April 9, 1985 - is considered the ninth season of Three's Company, bringing the episode total to 194.
- L.A. Law began with a two-hour pilot on September 15, 1986.
- The Golden Palace - which aired on CBS from September 18, 1992 to May 14, 1993 - is considered the eighth season of The Golden Girls, bringing the episode total to 204.
- Medical Center began with the pilot movie U.M.C. on April 17, 1969.
- Marcus Welby, M.D. began with a pilot movie on March 26, 1969.
- Five more episodes of Hunter were produced in 2003, only three of which aired from April 19 to May 3, bringing the season total to eight and the episode total to 156.
- The Netflix original series Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, which launched on November 25, 2016, counts as the four-episode eighth season of Gilmore Girls, bringing the episode total to 157.
- Fantasy Island had two premiere movies that aired on January 14, 1977 and January 20, 1978.
- Cagney & Lacey began with a pilot movie on October 8, 1981.
- Cheyenne began as a rotating element of Warner Bros. Presents.