The Top 10 Longest Running Television Shows

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We have been watching The Simpsons for what seems to be like forever. Those born the year the show first aired have now graduated from college. And Bart is still being punished after school, Homer is still bungling up at the nuclear plant and Maggie remains to be the adorable quiet baby. The show has been with us for 24 years that they, along with Marge and Lisa, have become important parts of the American cultural landscape.

Despite being with us for almost a quarter of a century, it is far from being the longest running show in television. While it is the longest running scripted show today, it does not hold a candle to the ones on top of the overall list.  Here are the top ten longest running television shows.

1. Meet the Press (NBC) – 65 years (1947 – present)

The program is an American television news show produced by NBC. There have been 11 different moderators who have hosted the show. The current show, however, shares very little similarities to the original format presented in 1947. David Gregory has been hosting the program since 2008. Meet the Press have had more than 4.800 episodes already.

2. CBS Evening News (CBS) – 64 years (1948 – present)

CBS Evening News is the flagship nightly news program on television of the CBS network. The show was originally entitled CBS News when it was first shown in 1948. It became the CBS Evening News in 1963. The show is broadcasted from New York City and anchored by Scott Pelley, with Jeff Glor taking over on Sundays. Different reporters take the anchor spot on Saturdays. CBS Evening News have had more than 16,400 episodes since its first showing.

3. Music and the Spoken Word (Syndicated) – 63 years (1949 – present)

The show is a syndicated program aired on both radio and television. It lasts 30 minutes and features inspirational messages produced by Bonneville Communications, as well as music performed by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, the Salt Lake Tabernacle Organ, and the Orchestra at Temple Square. CBS Radio Network originally created it for its radio affiliate that was owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints.  It then switched to ABC Radio, now known as Citadel Media, in 2005. The show airs in more than 2,000 stations all over the world.

4. The Today Show (NBC) – 60 years (1952 – present)

The show that we wake up to every morning has been around for 60 years now. Except for the monkey that was a part of the show in its early years, it has remained the same since its first showing in 1952. The show is one of NBC’s cash cows, earning for the network hundreds of millions of dollars in advertising revenues. It had a stranglehold on the number one spot in the survey rankings from 1985 to the middle of 2012, a period of 852 consecutive weeks. The show has become so successful that it has evolved from a morning show during weekdays that lasted a couple of hours to become a three-hour show in 2000 and later, to a four-hour show in 2007. It also started airing every Saturday for two hours in 1992 and every Sunday for one hour in 1987.

5. ABC World News (ABC) – 59 years (1953 – present)

This is the flagship evening news program of ABC News. Diane Sawyer anchors it during weekdays, with David Muir taking over on the weekends. It was also known as the ABC Evening News from 1970 to 1978 and as the World News Tonight from 1978 to 2006. The program has already aired more than 15,700 episodes.

6. The Tonight Show (NBC) – 58 years (1954 – present)

This late-night talk show on NBC is the longest currently running entertainment show on television with a regular schedule. `The show is so popular and lucrative that there have been two instances of prominent personalities quarreling over its hosting duties. The first one was in the early 90s after Johnny Carson left, when Jay Leno and David Letterman both wanted the position. Leno won out, before briefly retiring from the show in 2009 in favor of Conan O’Brien. Declining ratings however forced NBC to bring back Leno, much to the chagrin of O’Brien, who then left NBC to host his own show on TBS.

7. Face the Nation (CBS) – 58 years (1954 – present)

Face the Nation is a Sunday morning show on CBS that is hosted by Bob Schieffer. It features interviews with political personalities and government officials. it was originally aired as a 30-minute show, the shortest of all the Sunday morning talk shows on the four major networks. It eventually became a one-hour show in April 2012.

8. Guiding Light (CBS) – 57 years (1952 – 2009)

Guiding Light had 15,762 episodes under its belt before it shut down in 2009. While it began showing on television in 1952, it actually started on radio way back in 1937. If those radio episodes are included, the show had more than 18,000 episodes produced. Guiding Light was an American soap opera that has the distinction of being the longest running drama show in the history of television.

9. It is Written (Syndicated) – 56 years (1956 – present)

This is a Christian program founded by George Vandeman and produced by the Seventh Day Adventist Church Ministry. The title comes from the Bible, specifically from the Gospel of Matthew. It is also shown in more than 140 countries around the world. It is also the first religious program to air in color and also the first to use satellite technology.

10. The Open Mind (Syndicated) – 56 years (1956 – present)

The Open Mind is a public affairs interview show that lasts for half an hour. Since its start in 1956, the host has been Richard Heffner, a professor of Rutgers University. The American Public Television distributes the show.

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The Top 10 Longest Running Television Shows