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List of longest-running U.S. primetime television series

This is a list of the longest running U.S. primetime television series, ordered by the number of broadcast seasons offered by a U.S. broadcast network or cable network in prime time on the show's original run. Broadcast syndication that could have been scheduled by local stations in prime time have been omitted.

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Longest telecasted seriesEdit

Series shaded in light blue are currently in production.

50 seasons or moreEdit

Number of
seasons
Series Genre/Subject Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
68 Hallmark Hall of Fame[1] Anthology NBC Dec 24, 1951 Dec 17, 1978 258
CBS Nov 14, 1979 April 30, 1981
PBS Feb 9, 1981 May 6, 1981
CBS Dec 1, 1981 Jan 29, 1989
ABC April 30, 1989 April 23, 1995
CBS Dec 10, 1995 April 24, 2011
ABC Nov 27, 2011 April 20, 2014
Hallmark Channel Nov 30, 2014 present
53 Walt Disney Presents[2] Anthology ABC Oct 27, 1954 June 11, 1961 1,224
NBC Sep 24, 1961 Aug 16, 1981
CBS Sep 26, 1981 May 3, 1983
ABC Feb 2, 1986 May 22, 1988
NBC Oct 9, 1988 Aug 26, 1990
Disney Channel Sep 23, 1990 Sep 21, 1997
ABC Sep 28, 1997 Dec 24, 2008
Disney Junior March 23, 2012 present
51 60 Minutes News Magazine CBS September 24, 1968 present 2,325 (as of December 3, 2017)[3]

30–49 seasonsEdit

Number of
seasons
Series Genre/Subject Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
49 (NFL seasons) Monday Night Football Sports

Football

ABC September 21, 1970 December 26, 2005 718 (games)
ESPN August 14, 2006 present
48 Masterpiece Anthology PBS January 10, 1971 present
45 Saturday Night Live Variety Show NBC October 11, 1975 present 871
46 Nova Science PBS March 3, 1974 present 877
The Victory Garden Gardening PBS April 16, 1975 present
38 Survivor Reality Competition CBS May 31, 2000 present 568
43 Austin City Limits Music PBS 1976 present 300+
43 Live from Lincoln Center Music PBS January 30, 1976 present[4] 251
26 Live from the Met[5] Music PBS 1977 present[4]
42 Inside the NFL Sports

Football

HBO September 1977 February 6, 2008
Showtime September 10, 2008 present
41 20/20 News Magazine ABC June 6, 1978 present 500+
38 The Woodwright's Shop Woodworking PBS 1981 present 481
36 Frontline Public Affairs PBS January 17, 1983 present 600+
35 Wall Street Week[6] News

Economics

PBS November 20, 1970 June 24, 2005
40 This Old House Home Improvement PBS February 20, 1979 present 1,003 (as of February 23, 2019)
26 Mystery! Anthology PBS February 5, 1980 present
34 Firing Line Public Affairs Syndication 1966[7] 1971 1,504
PBS 1971 December 26, 1999
33 The Real World[8] Reality MTV May 21, 1992 present 614
34 The Challenge Reality Game Show MTV June 1, 1998 present 438
32 Cops [9] Reality Fox March 11, 1989 May 4, 2013 1,085[10][9]
Spike/Paramount Network September 14, 2013 present
31 American Experience Documentary PBS October 1, 1988 present 342
Nature Documentary PBS October 10, 1982 present
31 The Amazing Race Reality Competition CBS September 5, 2001 present 361
30 The Simpsons[11] Animated Sitcom Fox December 17, 1989 present 662
30 POV Documentary PBS July 5, 1988 present 400+

20–29 seasonsEdit

Number of
seasons
Series Genre/Subject Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
29 America's Funniest Home Videos Reality, Comedy ABC November 26, 1989 present 681 (as of May 19, 2019)
31 48 Hours[12] Documentary/News Magazine CBS January 2, 1988 present 991[13]
28 Dancing with the Stars Reality Competition ABC June 5, 2005 present 438
25 America's Most Wanted Reality Fox February 7, 1988 April 21, 2012 1186
Lifetime December 2, 2011 October 12, 2012
25 Camera Three Anthology CBS January 22, 1956 1979
PBS 1979 July 1, 1980
26 WWE Monday Night Raw Professional wrestling USA January 11, 1993 September 18, 2000 1,372 (as of September 9, 2019 (2019-09-09))
TNN/Spike TV September 25, 2000 September 26, 2005
USA October 3, 2005 present
24 Nick News with Linda Ellerbee Children's News Program Nickelodeon April 18, 1992 December 15, 2015 178
24 The Ed Sullivan Show[14] Variety Show CBS June 20, 1948 June 6, 1971 1,068
23 Crossfire Talk/News Program CNN 1982 June 3, 2005
22 E! News[15] Entertainment Newscast E! September 1, 1991 present 7,500+
22 Antiques Roadshow Bargain Hunt PBS January 1, 1997 present
28 Dateline NBC[16] News Magazine NBC March 31, 1992 present
22 South Park Animated Sitcom Comedy Central August 13, 1997 present 297
34 National Geographic Explorer[17] Documentary Nickelodeon 1985 1986 233
WTBS/TBS 1986 1999
CNBC 1999 2001
MSNBC[18] 2001 2005
National Geographic 2005 present
26 Grand Ole Opry[19] Music TNN April 20, 1985 August 2001
CMT August 2001 2003
GAC[20] 2003 2011
22 Investigative Reports Reality A&E September 27, 1991 2004
22 Ted Mack and The Original Amateur Hour[21] Reality 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
23 The Bachelor Romance Reality ABC March 25, 2002 present 239
21 The New Yankee Workshop Western Woodworking PBS January 1988 June 27, 2009 284
53 Sábado Gigante[22] Spanish Programming Univisión May 20, 1986 September 19, 2015
20 NFL Primetime Sports

Football

ESPN 1987 present
20 Biography[23] Documentary A&E April 6, 1987[24] August 2006
Biography Channel August 2006 present[25]
20 Law & Order: Special Victims Unit[26] Crime Drama NBC September 20, 1999 present 458
21 Big Brother Reality Competition CBS July 5, 2000 present 742
20 The Red Skelton Show Variety Show NBC September 30, 1951 June 21, 1953 672
CBS September 22, 1953 June 23, 1970
NBC September 14, 1970 August 29, 1971
20 Gunsmoke[27] Drama CBS September 10, 1955 March 31, 1975 635
20 Law & Order[28] Crime Drama NBC September 13, 1990 May 24, 2010 456
20 Evans and Novak[29] Political Discussion CNN September 1982 November 9, 2002
20 Moneyline Editorial CNN June 1, 1980 November 11, 2000

13–19 seasonsEdit

Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
19 ESPN Sunday Night Football[30] ESPN November 8, 1987[31] January 1, 2006
19 Lassie CBS/Syndication September 12, 1954 March 21, 1973 591
18 ESPN Major League Baseball[32] ESPN, ESPN2[33] April 15, 1990 present
17 Outside the Lines ESPN 1990 present
17 Family Guy Fox January 31, 1999 February 14, 2002 329
May 1, 2005 present
25 What's My Line?[34]
(network version)
CBS February 16, 1950 September 3, 1967 CBS: 876
Syndication: 1,320
Total: 2,196
17 Showbiz Today CNN October 29, 1984 2001
17 USA Tuesday Night Fights USA March 30, 1982 1998
17 Capital Gang CNN September 7, 1988 2005
16 Bleach Cartoon Network (Toonami) October 5, 2004 March 27, 2012
16 MTV Unplugged MTV November 26, 1989 November 10, 2005[35] 108
16 Booknotes C-SPAN April 2, 1989 December 5, 2004 801
16 The Lawrence Welk Show[36] ABC July 2, 1955 September 4, 1971
16 NCIS CBS September 23, 2003 present 378
16 American Dad! Fox February 6, 2005 September 21, 2014 276
TBS October 24, 2014 present
15 Grey's Anatomy ABC March 27, 2005 present 342
14 Criminal Minds CBS September 22, 2005 present 314
14 Supernatural CW September 13, 2005 present 307
15 ER NBC September 19, 1994 April 2, 2009 331
15 I've Got a Secret CBS June 19, 1952 April 3, 1967 CBS 1952-67, 1976: 760
GSN, 2006: 40
24 Concentration NBC August 25, 1958 September 20, 1991 3,770 (1958–1973)
975 (1973–1978)
1,020 (1987–1991)
15 The Jack Benny Program CBS October 29, 1950 September 15, 1964 260
NBC September 25, 1964 September 10, 1965
15 CSI: Crime Scene Investigation CBS October 6, 2000 September 27, 2015 337
17 American Idol Fox June 11, 2002 Present 593
14 Unsolved Mysteries NBC January 20, 1987[37] September 5, 1997 581 (including 7 specials)[38]
CBS November 13, 1997 June 11, 1999
Lifetime July 2, 2001 September 20, 2002
Spike TV October 13, 2008 present
14 World Poker Tour Fox Sports Networks March 30, 2003 present 420
14 The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet[39] ABC October 10, 1952 September 3, 1966 435
14 Bonanza[40] NBC September 12, 1959 January 16, 1973 431
14 Dallas CBS April 2, 1978 May 3, 1991 357
14 Knots Landing CBS December 27, 1979 May 13, 1993 344
14 An Evening at the Improv A&E February 3, 1982 January 1, 1996
12 Wild America PBS 1982 1996 120
14 Video Soul BET June 26, 1983 1997
14 America's Got Talent NBC June 21, 2006 present 347
13 Private Screenings TCM January 1, 1996 2010
22 Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel HBO April 2, 1995 present
13 King of the Hill Fox January 12, 1997 September 13, 2009 259
14 Armstrong Circle Theatre NBC June 32, 1950 June 1957 370
CBS October 1957 August 28, 1963
13 Tim Russert CNBC 1994 2008

10–12 seasonsEdit

Number of
seasons
Series Network First broadcast Last broadcast Number of
episodes
12 SpongeBob SquarePants Nickelodeon May 1, 1999 present 248
12 The Big Bang Theory CBS September 24, 2007 May 16, 2019 279
12 To Tell the Truth CBS December 18, 1956 September 6, 1968
12 CBS Reports CBS October 27, 1959 September 7, 1971
12 My Three Sons ABC September 29, 1960 September 2, 1965 380
CBS September 16, 1965 August 24, 1972
12 NYPD Blue ABC September 21, 1993 March 1, 2005 261
12 Murder, She Wrote CBS September 1, 1984 May 19, 1996 264 (+4 TV movies)
12 Hawaii Five-O CBS September 26, 1968 April 26, 1980 279
12 Don Francisco Presenta Univision October 10, 2001 January 2012
12 Two and a Half Men CBS September 22, 2003 February 19, 2015 262
12 Bones Fox September 13, 2005 March 28, 2017 246
11 Murphy Brown CBS November 14, 1988 May 18, 1998 260
September 27, 2018 December 20, 2018
11 Kraft Television Theatre[41] NBC May 7, 1947 October 1, 1958 525
11 The Voice of Firestone NBC September 5, 1949 June 1954
ABC June 1954 June 1959
ABC September 1962 June 16, 1963
11 You Bet Your Life NBC October 5, 1950 June 29, 1961 529
11 The Andy Williams Show CBS 1957 1959
NBC 1962 1971
11 The Carol Burnett Show CBS September 11, 1967 March 29, 1978 279
11 M*A*S*H CBS September 17, 1972 February 28, 1983 256
11 Happy Days ABC January 15, 1974 May 8, 1984 255
11 Cheers NBC September 30, 1982 May 20, 1993 275 (including three double-length episodes and a triple-length finale)
11 The Danny Thomas Show ABC September 20, 1953 1957 90 (MRFD)
253 (TDTS)
343 (total)
24 (MRFG)
CBS 1957 September 14, 1964
11 Frasier NBC September 16, 1993 May 13, 2004 264
11 Married... with Children Fox April 5, 1987 June 9, 1997 259
11 The Jeffersons CBS January 18, 1975 July 23, 1985 253
11 7th Heaven[42] WB/CW August 26, 1996 May 13, 2007 243
10 Arthur Godfrey and His Friends CBS January 12, 1949 April 28, 1959
12 Mystery Science Theater 3000 KTMA November 24, 1988 May 28, 1989 217
Comedy Central November 18, 1989 May 18, 1996
Sci Fi February 1, 1997 September 12, 1999
10 NCIS: Los Angeles CBS September 22, 2009 present 240
10 Modern Family ABC September 22, 2009 present 232
10 Will & Grace NBC September 21, 1998 present 228
10 The Fairly OddParents Nickelodeon March 30, 2001 July 26, 2017 161
10 Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts[43] CBS December 6, 1948 July 21, 1958
10 Studio One[44] CBS November 7, 1948 September 29, 1958
10 The Arthur Murray Party[45] ABC July 20, 1950 September 1950
DuMont October 1950 March 1951
ABC April 1951 May 1952
CBS July 1952 August 1952
NBC October 1953 September 1955
CBS April 1956 September 1956
NBC July 1957 September 6, 1960
10 General Electric Theater CBS February 1, 1953 September 16, 1962 302
10 Stargate SG-1[46] Showtime July 27, 1997 May 17, 2002 214 + 2 DVD films
Sci Fi June 7, 2002 2007[47]
10 Alfred Hitchcock Presents[48] NBC October 2, 1955 June 26, 1960 268 (Alfred Hitchcock Presents)
93 (The Alfred Hitchcock Hour)
CBS September 25, 1960 June 26, 1962[49]
NBC September 20, 1962 July 3, 1964
CBS October 5, 1964 May 10, 1965
10 Nashville Now TNN March 1, 1983 January 1, 1993 Unknown
11 All That Nickelodeon April 16, 1994 October 22, 2005 177
10 Friends NBC September 22, 1994 May 6, 2004 236
10 JAG NBC September 1, 1995 May 22, 1996[50] 227
CBS January 3, 1997 April 29, 2005
10 Beverly Hills, 90210 Fox October 4, 1990 May 17, 2000 293
10 Pantomime Quiz[51] CBS July 1, 1950 August 1951
NBC January 1952 March 1952
CBS July 1952 May 1952
CBS July 1952 August 1953
DuMont October 1953 April 1954
CBS June 1954 August 1954
ABC January 1955 March 1955
CBS July 1955 July 1957
ABC April 1958 September 1959
10 The United States Steel Hour ABC October 27, 1953 June 21, 1955 315
CBS July 6, 1955 August 13, 1963
10 Smallville [52] The WB October 16, 2001 May 11, 2006 217[52]
The CW September 28, 200 May 13, 2011
10 Law & Order: Criminal Intent NBC September 30, 2001 May 21, 2007 195
USA October 4, 2007 June 26, 2011
10 CSI: Miami CBS September 23, 2002 April 8, 2012 232

See alsoEdit

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Originally Hallmark Playhouse radio series, was Hallmark Television Playhouse (1951–1954)
  2. ^ Originally well known as The Wonderful World of Disney (1969–1979, 1997–2008), now airing as The Magical World of Disney (1988–1997, 2012–current)
  3. ^ Announced on the December 3, 2017 episode
  4. ^ a b Not currently on a regular schedule
  5. ^ Also known as The Metropolitan Opera Presents
  6. ^ Became Wall Street Week with Fortune after original host was fired in 2002
  7. ^ Pilot taped April 4, 1966
  8. ^ According to MTV, 18th season begins November 22, 2006
  9. ^ a b ‘Cops Beyond The Bust’: Spike Sets Special To Mark 1,000th Episode Of ‘Cops’ Deadline Hollywood, July 26, 2017
  10. ^ "Episodes: Cops". The TVDB. Retrieved September 5, 2016.
  11. ^ Longest running prime time animated program in the United States.
  12. ^ Also called "48 Hours Investigates"
  13. ^ "48 Hours on CBS". TV Guide. Retrieved February 1, 2014.
  14. ^ Aired as Toast of the Town until 1955
  15. ^ Previously E! News Daily and E! News Live
  16. ^ Also known as Dateline (day of week it airs), Dateline With Stone Phillips
  17. ^ Host: Tom Chapin (1985–1988), Robert Urich (1988–1995), Bob Ballard (1988–1995), Boyd Matson (1995–2003), Michael Fay (2001), Lisa Ling (2003–)
  18. ^ Show renamed National Geographic Ultimate Explorer 2003–2005
  19. ^ Oldest continuously running radio program, airing on WSM radio, Nashville, Tennessee
  20. ^ As Grand Ole Opry Live!
  21. ^ Originated on radio as Major Bowes' Original Amateur Hour, 1934–1946
  22. ^ Continuation of series that aired 1962–1985 on Chile's Canal 13
  23. ^ Originated on CBS
  24. ^ Reran CBS originals, 1984–1987
  25. ^ Rebroadcast A&E originals, 1999–2006
  26. ^ Roots, Kimberly (2018-05-10). "SVU Renewed for Season 20 at NBC". TVLine. Retrieved 2018-05-14.
  27. ^ Longest-running live-action 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.
  28. ^ Longest-running live-action hour-long prime time entertainment program in the United States. While Gunsmoke has accumulated more episodes (635), 233 of its episodes were half-hour dramas. All of Law & Order's episodes were an hour long.
  29. ^ Other names: Evans, Novak, Hunt, and Shields (1998–2001), Novak, Hunt, and Shields (2001–2002)
  30. ^ Moved to NBC in 2006, at which time Monday Night Football moves from ABC to ESPN
  31. ^ Sunday Night Football shared with TNT, with TNT getting the first half of the season, ESPN the second half, 1990–1997
  32. ^ Includes Sunday Night Baseball, Wednesday Night Baseball, etc.
  33. ^ ESPN2 started broadcasting major league baseball games in 2002 in addition to those offered by ESPN
  34. ^ Longest-running game show in prime time network television; first-run syndication 1968–1975
  35. ^ New episodes sporadic after 2001
  36. ^ Originally The Dodge Dancing Party; first-run syndication 1971–1982; reruns have been airing since 1982 on various PBS stations
  37. ^ Includes series of specials, Jan. 1987 to May 1988
  38. ^ "Unsolved Mysteries (a Titles & Air Dates Guide)". www.epguides.com.
  39. ^ Longest running live-action sitcom.
  40. ^ First US network series to film all its episodes in color
  41. ^ Also known as Kraft Mystery Theatre (1958); another series of the same name ran concurrently on ABC, 1953–1955
  42. ^ Longest-running family drama on television, per Reuters article about 7th Heaven finale
  43. ^ On CBS radio 1946–1956
  44. ^ Originated on CBS Radio, 1947
  45. ^ The first series to be shown on four US broadcasting networks
  46. ^ Longest-running science fiction series in the United States.
  47. ^ Cancellation announced by Sci Fi Channel, August 21, 2006
  48. ^ The Alfred Hitchcock Hour 1962–1965
  49. ^ One episode wasn't aired on network TV, but was included in later syndication packages
  50. ^ One episode made its premiere on USA network as part of a JAG rerun package. The episode, planned to be the first of a two-part story, never aired on NBC before cancellation.
  51. ^ Originally aired locally in Los Angeles, 1947–1950
  52. ^ a b David Lambert (April 26, 2011). "The Complete Series on DVD: Timeframe, Packaging, New Extras and Answer to 'Why Not On Blu-ray?'". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Archived from the original on April 29, 2011. Retrieved April 26, 2011. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)