The following are the top 10 longest running tv show of all time, with the first airing in 1960 and the most recent airing in 2022. This list ranks American TV shows by the number of years they have run on television, regardless of their original network or affiliation. These shows were ranked based on longevity and popularity, using ratings, awards, viewer numbers, and box office grosses where applicable. Some of these shows are among the best-known ever to air on television and some of them have received multiple Emmy Awards, Golden Globes, and People’s Choice Awards over the years.
The longest running tv show ever is Jeopardy! If you don’t know much about it, you need to catch up on a few episodes. Created by Merv Griffin in 1964, Jeopardy! is still on today and has been hosted by Alex Trebek since 1984. The show was originally a basic trivia contest, but over time has become more complex with categories that range from Music to Future First Lady. While there have been numerous changes over the years, including different sets and different music themes, one thing remains constant: contestants can win big money (or lose big money) depending on how well they do. Over its many years on air, Jeopardy! has given away $160 million dollars—and counting.
Wheel of Fortune
The Emmy Award-winning Wheel of Fortune is one of television’s longest running tv show and also one of its most popular. It has aired since January 6, 1975, and is currently in its 36th season. The show features two contestants competing to solve word puzzles with cash values that increase as they spin a giant wheel. Incorrect letters are added to their bank after each puzzle and bonus prizes can be won if a contestant solves a puzzle on his or her turn without using any letters from his or her bank. A contestant who correctly solves three consecutive puzzles wins a bonus prize that starts at $1,000 and increases by $1,000 for each consecutive puzzle solved within that streak.
One of television’s longest running tv show, Survivor has aired nearly 900 episodes since its debut in 2001. With an all-new cast each season, contestants battle their way across a series of remote locations for six grueling weeks to be crowned Sole Survivor and take home a million-dollar prize. The show is based on a Swedish format called Expedition Robinson and was originally broadcast by CBS. However, after four seasons CBS moved it to their sister network, CBS Entertainment.
Law & Order
When Law & Order debuted in 1990, it made history. At 25 seasons and counting, it’s now one of the longest running tv show in history. Because it’s such a classic show, we decided to take a look back at its long and celebrated run. Join us as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Longest Running TV Shows of All Time!
American animated sitcom The Simpsons have been on air since 1989. Created by Matt Groening, the show is still running. It features a yellow, orange, and blue family and focuses on their lives in a fictional town called Springfield. This series holds both records as the first primetime American animated series to win Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program, which it won in 1990. In 2007, Entertainment Weekly named The Simpsons America’s best television series ever.
CBS’s long-running newsmagazine, 60 Minutes, debuted in 1968 and is still going strong. The brainchild of creator Don Hewitt and CBS News Chairman William S. Paley, it is anchored by correspondents Lesley Stahl and Anderson Cooper. In 2013, it drew an average weekly audience of approximately 14 million viewers (including 6 million in its target 25–54 demographic). It has won 70 Emmy Awards.
Saturday Night Live
The top show on our list is obviously Saturday Night Live (SNL). Begun in 1975, NBC’s iconic late-night sketch comedy show is now in its 40th season! The first SNL episode featured Chevy Chase as a guest host and musical guest. Known for its cutting-edge comedic sketches and celebrity impressions, Saturday Night Live has been nominated for more than 70 Emmy Awards. Lorne Michaels created SNL; he was also executive producer from 1975 to 1980 and 1989 to 1997.
Two and a Half Men
After 12 seasons and 254 episodes, CBS’s hit comedy Two and a Half Men is finally calling it quits. Although Ashton Kutcher joining Charlie Sheen for season 12 gave fans a new reason to tune in, ultimately its ratings couldn’t compete with The Big Bang Theory or NCIS. It remains to be seen whether stars Jon Cryer (Alan Harper) and Angus T. Jones (Jake Harper) will return for season 13.
The Oprah Winfrey Show
Airing from 1986 to 2011, The Oprah Winfrey Show is still in the first place when it comes to longest running tv show. The media mogul’s daytime program has earned her a total net worth of $2.9 billion. After 25 years on air, she hosted her final episode on May 25, 2011. Her show was viewed by an estimated 44 million people each week at its peak. After its cancellation, Winfrey launched two more shows: Oprah’s Next Chapter and Super Soul Sunday. Both aired on OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network and ran for three seasons before ending in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Despite its high degree of social awareness, Sesame Street hasn’t been around nearly as long as some might think. The first season aired in 1969, but production halted due to lack of funding. After several years off-air, Sesame Street returned in 1976, making it 40 years old today. It is also worth noting that HBO has produced a new version of Sesame Street for South Africa since 2006; however, neither series is considered part of the original run.