What are the best longest-running TV shows?

Although a lot of TV shows come and go, there are others that seem to never end. This can be seen with shows that run for two decades or even half a century. It's fascinating to watch these longest running TV shows and know why they remain to air after many years. Find and suggest your favorites here!

57 contributors
8 solutions
  1. 18

    #1The Simpsons

    The Simpsons

    The Simpsons is an animated satirical sitcom created by Matt Groening. It follows the life of a dysfunctional American family living in the fictional town of Springfield. The show is known for parodying stereotypes and American culture.

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    Teresa Reyes
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "Out of all the longest running tv shows on this list, I really love the Simpsons the most! I basically grew up with this show and its comedic genius always makes my day a little if not a lot better. My favorite character has got to be Marge, I mean, what would the family be without her? Same goes for Homer but Marge really is the super mom!"
  2. 11



    Gunsmoke is a western television series that features James Arness, Milburn Stone, and Amanda Blake. It was created by Charles Marquis Warren and was distributed by Columbia Broadcasting System. The television show ran from 1955 to 1975.

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    Mark Holmes
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "Gunsmoke is one of the longest running tv show you must watch in your lifetime. even though u say you're not a fan of western/cowboy shows, watching this will change your mind about them! you'd understand why this show lasted for a good 20 years back then..."
  3. 10



    Cops is an ongoing reality television show that first premiered in 1989 and has been on the air for 29 years. The action and crime TV series is created by John Langley and Malcolm Barbour and the show has over 1000 episodes and counting.

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    Melissa Cook
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "Cops is my favorite current tv shows. I only recently learned that it's been one of the longest ongoing shows out there. Every episode is must-watch, almost makes me want to become a cop myself just for the hell of it."
  1. 3

    #4South Park

    South Park

    South Park is an animated sitcom aimed towards adults, created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone that premiered on 1997. The comedy series follows the adventures of four boys in the bizarre town of South Park, Colorado.

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    Bryan Willis
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "Gonna be honest with y'all, I didn't like south park when I first watched it. It just wasn't my cup of tea. Then I saw it here and thought that south park has been around this long? So I watched it again, and I understood why. It's a social commentary in the form of an adult cartoon."
  2. 3

    #5Saturday Night Live

    Saturday Night Live

    Saturday Night Live is a late-night comedy show on NBC. Since its inception in 1975, SNL has launched the careers of many of the brightest comedy performers of their generation. The program has won 53 Emmy Awards. 

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    Nathan Price
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "SNL remains to be my favorite late night show, it's my kind of humor and I hope it never ends! Thank you for giving me places to watch it as well!!!"
  3. 2

    #6Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit is a legal drama created by Dick Wold, starring Christopher Meloni, Mariska Hargitay, Richard Belzer. This ongoing TV series premiered on NBC in 1999, making it the fourth longest-running US TV series.

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    Brandon Scott
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "so this is in the top 4 longest running tv show in the world so i was curious why, i watch this and it puts how to get away with murder and other legal dramas to shame. it's that good!"
  4. 1

    #7Sesame Street

    Sesame Street

    On a special inner city street, the inhabitants, both human and puppet, teach preschool subjects with comedy, cartoons, games, and songs. Sesame Street is an educational television program released in 1989 designed for preschoolers.

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    Lisa Rivera
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "Sesame Street is older than my parents HAHAAHAH but this show was my childhood and I also want it to be a part of my daughter's childhood. It's a really fun show with characters that are basically household names"
  5. 1

    #8General Hospital

    General Hospital

    General Hospital is considered to be one of the longest-running tv-shows of all time which first premiered in 1963. The crime drama series is created by Doris and Frank Hursley and mainly stars Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, and Laura Wright.

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    Jacob Knight
    Written on July 9, 2019
    "This longest running scripted tv show has been around for freakin 50 years???? This tv show can be my dad lmao anyway i watched the pilot and it's aight, i still can't say it's my favorite cuz i just started yo"


Best What are the best longest-running TV shows
1The SimpsonsTV Shows 18 Paid
2GunsmokeTV Shows 11 Paid
3CopsTV Shows 10 Paid
4South ParkTV Shows 3 Paid
5Saturday Night LiveTV Shows 3 Paid
6Law & Order: Special Victims UnitTV Shows 2 Paid
7Sesame StreetTV Shows 1 Free
8General HospitalTV Shows 1 Paid

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