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The longest running TV series in the United States is the National Broadcasting Company's “Meet the Press,” which has been airing since 6 November, 1947. Given that television broadcasting began barely a decade before “Meet the Press” started airing, the show's long-lasting run is rather significant. The news show also happens to be the longest running TV series in the world, and the show has consistently high viewer numbers, often beating out the competition.
“Guiding Light,” a daytime drama which first aired on 30 June 1952, could be considered another contender for the honor of longest running TV series in the United States. The show airs on CBS, and it has the distinction of being the longest running soap opera in the world. “The Price is Right” is another venerable television series which has been airing since 1972, and fans of “The Simpsons” may be pleased to know that the animated comedy is the longest running animated comedy series in the United States, with an initial air date of 17 December 1989.
Several other American series have had notably long runs, including “Gunsmoke,” “Saturday Night Live,” and “The Tonight Show.” The honors of longest running TV series don't belong solely in the United States, however. “Sazae-San,” an animated show, has been airing in Japan since 1969, and “The Late Late Show” has been broadcast to Irish viewers since 1962. A Mexican cooking show, “Hasta La Cocina,” has been airing since 1962, and “Hockey Night In Canada” has been on the air since 1952.
The United Kingdom also has several notably long-running television series which are worthy of a mention. “Dr Who” has aired off and on on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) since 1963, making it the longest running science fiction series, and “Blue Peter,” a children's show which started airing on the BBC in 1958, also has a very long history on the air. The long history of television broadcasting in both the United States and Great Britain can be seen from the huge numbers of American and British shows which tend to dominate lists of the longest running TV series in the world.
Some of these series have episode counts in the thousands, making it remarkable that they have been on the air for so long. “Meet the Press,” being a news show, has an obvious advantage in that there's always plenty of new material to work with, but the staff on scripted comedies, dramas, and action shows definitely deserve some commendation for keeping their shows on the air for so long.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the longest-running TV series in the United States?
The longest-running TV series in the United States is 'The Simpsons,' which debuted on December 17, 1989. As of my knowledge cutoff in 2023, it has been on the air for over three decades and continues to produce new episodes. The show has become an iconic part of American culture, known for its satirical take on a middle-class American family and society at large.
How many seasons and episodes does 'The Simpsons' have?
As of early 2023, 'The Simpsons' has aired more than 30 seasons with over 700 episodes. The show has surpassed several milestones, making it not only the longest-running American sitcom but also the longest-running American scripted primetime television series in terms of seasons and episodes.
Are there any other long-running TV series in the United States?
Yes, there are several other long-running TV series in the United States. 'Gunsmoke' (1955-1975) and 'Law & Order' (1990-present) are notable for their longevity. 'Gunsmoke' holds the record for the longest-running live-action series with 20 seasons, while 'Law & Order' has been renewed for its 21st season as of my knowledge cutoff, making it one of the longest-running crime dramas.
What contributes to the longevity of a TV series like 'The Simpsons'?
The longevity of 'The Simpsons' can be attributed to its timeless humor, broad appeal, and ability to evolve with the times. The show's writers have consistently delivered sharp social commentary and satire that resonates with audiences across different generations. Additionally, its animated format allows for greater creative freedom and longevity of characters, as they do not age like live-action characters.
Has 'The Simpsons' received any significant awards or recognition?
'The Simpsons' has received numerous awards and accolades throughout its run, including dozens of Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It has been praised for its influence on television and its impact on popular culture, solidifying its status as a television landmark.