5 of the Longest-Running TV Shows of All Time

The Simpsons

TV shows seem to come and go a lot faster these days. But, over the years, a few of them came along and stuck around, including a few of these that spanned over decades, and possibly a generation.

The Simpsons



Now running on its 29th season, The Simpsons made it's debut back in 1989, making it the longest-running scripted prime-time TV series to ever air. This animated family takes on a satirical approach to the working-class life, something many of us can relate to on many levels. I remember watching this show when I was a kid. It only came on once a week, Thursday nights at 7:00 pm. The Simpsons has an extended contract until 2019, but it's unclear whether or not the series will continue after.

Gunsmoke



Another show that also had a two-decade running streak was Gunsmoke, first airing on CBS from September 10, 1955, to March 31, 1975, making it the second longest-running prime-time series in US history. Gunsmoke was a story set in the wild west where people often had no respect for the law. Marshal Matt Dillon was in charge of Dodge City, dealing with problems associated with frontier life on a daily basis such as cattle rustling, gunfights, brawls, and land fraud.

Marshal Matt Dillon in Gunsmoke

Lassie



Lassie was a show centered around a loyal canine who rescued her human family numerous times over many years. You wouldn't think people would need so much help, but this fearless canine warmed the hearts of many from 1954 all the way to 1972. Lassie was portrayed by nine different male collies, all descendants to the original Lassie.

Lassie

Law & Order



Not to be confused with Law & Order: Special Victims Unit which seems to be running wildly popular amongst the younger crowd today. The original Law & Order series had a running start in 1990 and ended in 2010, making it the longest-running crime drama on American prime-time TV ever. The show's episodes typically revolved around current headlines from separate vantage points, the police investigation and the prosecution in court.

Law & Order

Dallas



This highly popular TV soap opera revolved around the wealthy Ewing family, with a track record starting from 1978 to 1991. The 1980 episode "Who Done It" remains the second highest rated prime-time telecast of all time. The Dallas series had a reboot in 2012 but ended shortly after in 2014. Dallas was named one of Time magazine's "100 Best TV Shows of All Time."

Dallas

Did you have any favorite TV shows throughout the years? Are they still running? Share your best TV history moments in the comments section below.
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