The Movie Waffler List of the Oldest Soap Operas of All Time You Should Know About | The Movie Waffler

List of the Oldest Soap Operas of All Time You Should Know About

The first soap opera made an official debut in 1951. However, even today, they are the most popular type of daytime TV shows. Their long history deserves your attention.

The opportunity to watch different TV shows became available to everyone together with the development of technology. It is almost impossible to find a family that does not possess at least one TV in their home. However, even today, soap operas remain some of the most popular daytime TV shows.

Believe it or not, the oldest soap opera made an official debut in 1951. In the last 70 years, we got many of them that have remained popular for several decades. Almost every country in the world has its soap opera division. That is another fact that confirms their popularity.

We prepared a list of the oldest soap operas of all time. The good news is that some of the soap operas do not plan to slow down. Because of that, let's find them out together.

The Archers
“The Archers” is officially the oldest soap opera in all parts of the world. As mentioned above, its history started on January 1, 1951. Since then, the show has managed to release more than 19 thousand episodes. However, there is one thing that we need to highlight here. Five pilot episodes were released one year before the official debut.

The radio program was originally analyzing the everyday story about country folk. However, things are a bit different today. This soap opera is some sort of contemporary drama in a rural setting. Even today, around 5 million people are actively following the show.

Coronation Street
Only nine years later, we got another British soap opera that is still popular among people. Since then, the producers of the show have released more than ten thousand episodes. The storyline of the show talks about the fictional town of Weatherfield. However, in reality, the story is based on the real inner-city of Salford.

There is one interesting fact that we need to highlight here. Since 1963, many characters and actors have changed. However, Ken Barlow (William Roache in real life) actively participates in the show since the very beginning.

General Hospital
The third-place goes to one of the most popular American soap operas of all time. General Hospital made an official debut on April 1, 1963. Since that day, more than 14 thousand episodes divided into 57 seasons have been released. That makes it the longest-running American soap opera of all time.

Days of Our Lives
The fourth-place on the list goes to another American soap opera that is popular for nearly 60 years. Until now, the fans had the chance to enjoy near 14,000 episodes divided into 54 seasons.

The show talks about two familiars that live in the town of Salem. Over time, a few more families were added to the story. However, the Bradys and the Hortons remained the main focus of the soap opera. Logically, almost all characters and actors have changed in the meantime. Yet, Julie Olson Williams is the only character that remained active for the entire period. More precisely, Susan Seaforth Hayes is the only actress that appears in all the episodes for more than 50 years.

Pobol Y CWM
The fifth place on the list goes to the first soap opera that is produced by the BBC. It is a Welsh TV show that managed to release a bit more than 8000 episodes since 1974. Even today, four episodes are released each week. The fans of the daytime TV show can enjoy a 1-hour long episode each Wednesday.

EastEnders is not as old as some other TV shows that we included in this list. The official debut was made on February 19, 1985. Since then, people could enjoy more than 6000 episodes. However, it is one of the most popular soap operas across the entire United Kingdom. It had a huge influence on the culture and mentality of people that live there. The popularity started to grow from the first episode and remained at the highest level until today.

We do not want to say that every British person is a big lover of the series. For instance, there is a group of people that actively criticize the storylines. There are some difficult-to-watch scenes of rape and violence that not all people will understand. However, we can't deny its popularity because it has near 7 million viewers per episode. It is a success that many TV shows and producers can only dream about.

Christmas Day in 1986 was a special day for all the people that are participating in the soap opera creation. Believe it or not, more than 30 million people were watching the episode released that day. Because of that, EastEnders became the soap opera with the highest viewed episode of all time.

Final Thought: Which Soap Operas Deserve Your Attention
As you see, some soap operas have managed to remain popular for more than 70 years. Despite that, their influence on the human population was huge in many ways. Many of them deserve your attention. Because of that, if you want to find out the greatest soap operas of all time, check the infographic below:

Soap Operas Latest Charts