Longest Running Soap Operas by Episode Count - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Longest Running Soap Operas by Episode Count

Which soap opera is the longest running by episode count? And which are the most popular around the world? All will be revealed below.

We are living in a golden age of television. Thanks to the advent of the internet and streaming services, there are now more shows out there than we could ever watch in our lifetimes. But it all had to start somewhere, which it did, surprisingly, less than 80 years ago.

Television has indeed come a long way since John Logie Baird made the first experimental broadcast for the BBC in London on September 30th 1929. Soon after television network's sprung up around the world, all looking for content to fill their limited broadcasting time. It made sense for them to turn to the popular radio programs of the day, the melodramas and daily going's on of the broadcast plays that filled the airways was a ripe area to convert to the small screen. Not only were these short chapter plays attracting big audiences but big sponsorship too. Because the majority were broadcast during the day, when at the time it was primarily housewives listening, the advertisers tended to be manufactures of laundry cleaning products, and the shows were starting to be referred to as "soap operas".

The first television soap operas emerged in the USA in the 1940s, with shows like These Are My Children broadcast in short 15 minute installments Monday to Friday. Soap operas quickly became a fixture of daytime television in the early 1950s, shows like General Hospital and As The World Turns became daily must-watch TV and there was no turning back after that. The format became so popular that it spilled over into prime-time, not just in the British serials like Coronation Street and EastEnders but the bigger budgeted glamorous soaps from the USA, like Dallas and Dynasty.

If we're honest, no matter how much of a high-brow television snob we might claim to be, we've all watched a soap opera at some time. Perhaps we just had to find out the identity of the Salem Stalker in Days Of Our Lives, or we couldn't look away from the wedding massacre in Dynasty, or we were there on Christmas Day when Den served Angie divorce papers in EastEnders, or we were guests at Scott & Charlene's wedding in Neighbours, or we spent the summer trying to work out with our friends just who shot JR? Whatever the story-line, we've all become invested in the ongoing lives of soap characters at some time or another. Some of us may dip in and out from time to time, others may watch the show's religiously, with the characters almost becoming family members and their daily dramas a topic of concern and discussion in our household. Perhaps we can relate to their issues, perhaps it's more a "thank heavens it's not me" feeling as we see the latest disaster or scenario play out on screen.

Some soap operas that began in the early days of the format are still going strong today. For instance, BBC Radio's The Archers, first broadcast in 1950, is still very much active and holds the title as the world's longest-running radio soap opera. Coronation Street, another British production which was first broadcast on ITV in 1960 and still topping the television charts today, takes the crown as the world's longest-running TV soap, but by episode count where does it stand? Which actors have played their soap opera characters for the longest time? Which soaps are most beloved in different countries around the world? And, which soap has given us the craziest, most out-there storylines? We've put together this handy guide to reveal all, containing the ultimate rankings of the greatest soap operas of all time...

Soap Operas Latest Charts
(source: slots.info)

And now, you know!

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