Longest running TV shows of all time

Television is a staple in many homes, and these long-running TV shows have been captivating audiences for decades. Find out which ones made our top 10 list!


Learn which beloved American TV shows have lasted longer.

mom and daughter watching tv show
See which tv shows have lasted the longest. Source: Freepik.

When it comes to television, there are a few shows that have managed to stand the test of time. In this list, you’ll see some shows that have long ended and some that are still airing with no sign of stopping anytime soon. So, are you curious to find out which are the longest-running TV shows of all time?

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While some of these programs have been able to maintain a loyal following, others have seen their ratings decline over the years. Regardless, these shows have all made a lasting impact on the television landscape.

As any TV fan knows, some shows just seem to go on forever. And while there are plenty of reality shows and game shows that have been running for years, there are also a few scripted series that have managed to stay on the air for a very long time. So without further ado, these are the top 10 longest-running tv shows in the U.S. 

Check out the top 10 longest-running shows

man watching longest runing tv shows
Have you been watching one of these tv shows? Source: Freepik.

In recent years, it seems like television shows are getting shorter and shorter. While there are still some shows that run for multiple seasons, the vast majority of programs are canceled after just a few episodes.

However, there are a handful of shows that have managed to stay on the air for decades. Here are 10 of the longest-running TV shows of all time.


Lassie was one of the longest-running television shows of all time. The original series aired for nineteen seasons from 1953 to 1974. It followed the adventures of a young boy named Timmy and his collie, Lassie.

The show is set on a farm in rural America, and each episode features Lassie saving Timmy from some sort of peril. It was popular with both children and adults, and it became an iconic part of American culture. Even today, the name “Lassie” is synonymous with dogs.

Grey’s Anatomy

The medical drama first aired in 2005 and is currently in its 18th season. Grey’s Anatomy follows the lives of the doctors and staff at Grey Sloan Memorial Hospital as they deal with the challenges of their personal and professional lives.

Despite being more than a decade old, Grey’s Anatomy remains one of the most popular shows on television. Not only that, but its passionate fan base has helped to make it one of the longest running tv shows of all time. 

It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia began on FX in 2005 and is on its way to its 16th season. The show is set in the city of Philadelphia and follows the lives of a group of friends who own and operate an Irish pub.

It’s Always Sunny is one of the longest running TV shows of all time and currently the longest live-action on the air.

It has been praised for its clever writing, dark humor, and commitment to character development. The show is not afraid to tackle controversial topics, and this has helped to make it one of the most popular comedies on television today.


NCIS first aired in 2003 and is still going strong today. The show follows the investigations of a team of Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents. The team is based in Washington, D.C., and they work to solve crimes that involve the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps.

NCIS won many accolades for its action-packed plots and its strong character development. It has won numerous awards, including a People’s Choice Award for Favorite TV Drama. NCIS is currently in its 21st season and shows no signs of slowing down.


Gunsmoke originally ran from 1955 to 1975. The series was known for its gritty realism and featured stories about frontier life that was often violent and seedy.

The show was also unusual for its time in that it featured a cast of characters that was racially diverse. Over the course of its 20-year run, Gunsmoke became one of the most popular shows on television.

To this day, many still consider it one of the great classics of the medium.

Law & Order

Law & Order is one of the longest running TV shows of all time. It debuted in 1990 and ended in 2010, after 20 seasons. The show was created by Dick Wolf and starred Jerry Orbach as Detective Lennie Briscoe.

The show was a police procedural and courtroom drama that follows the cases of the New York City Police Department’s homicide unit.

Law & Order was incredibly popular, averaging nearly 10 million viewers per episode. It won numerous awards and has been credited with inspiring a number of spin-offs.

Family Guy

young woman watcjing streaming service tv show
Some TV shows have been running for decades. Source: Freepik.

Few TV shows have been as influential or as popular as Family Guy. The show, which first aired in 1999, follows the antics of the Griffin family, a dysfunctional yet lovable group of characters.

Over the years, the show has attracted a huge following, and it is now one of the longest running TV shows of all time.

In addition to its humor, the show is also popular for its catchy songs, clever pop culture references, and off-the-wall plots.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit

This Law & Order spin-off began airing in 1999 and still is going strong to this day. The show follows the work of the Special Victims Unit of the New York City Police Department, which investigates crimes of abuse.

SVU has many positive reviews for its realistic portrayal of these difficult and sensitive subjects, and for its strong female characters.

The show has also been criticized for its sometimes graphic and disturbing content. However, it remains one of the most popular shows on television.

Its success has inspired a number of spin-offs, including Law & Order: Criminal Intent and Law & Order: Trial by Jury.

South Park

South Park is an American animated television sitcom currently airing at Comedy Central. The show is set in the small town of South Park, Colorado, and revolves around the adventures of Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick, all of whom are fourth graders.

The show became infamous for its crude humor, dark satire, and irreverent take on current events. Despite its often controversial subject matter, South Park has been praised for its clever writing and witty social commentary.

It is also one of the longest running TV shows of all time, having aired for more than 20 years.

The Simpsons

Number one with a bullet, The Simpsons is an American sitcom by Matt Groening and it’s been on the air since 1989. The Simpsons is a satirical cartoon that follows the life of the Simpson family, as well as the other residents of Springfield.

The show is known for its clever humor, pop culture references, and social commentary. Sure it has been criticized for its sometimes crude humor.

However, it remains one of the most popular and successful TV shows ever created.

Best streaming services of 2022

You can find almost all of the shows in our list on different streaming platforms. In case you want to check them out, follow the link below and learn which are the best streaming services of 2022.

From content to cost, we’ll help you choose which subscription is worth your attention. 

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What are the best streaming services of 2022?

Get the inside scoop on which company is offering the best streaming services today. Learn how to access your favorite TV shows and movies, while also saving money!

About the author  /  Aline Barbosa

Aline Barbosa is an editor, writer and learning-enthusiast. Passionate about music, books and human behavior. Curious about the unknown. Believer that learning is a life-long process.

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