Every television show has an expiration date. While a fantastic series sometimes ends before viewers think it should (hello, Breaking Bad), others linger on well past their best-by date (That ‘70s Show, anyone?) But some simply continued to dish out great storylines, haul in viewers, and enjoy long, successful runs, from start to eventual finish.
Most of the longest-running series on TV are news programs: Meet the Press has been running for an impressive 68 years, giving it the title of longest-running show, across all genres, in U.S. history. Today has been going for 64 years (and counting). Late night talk shows also make the grade. The Tonight Show celebrates 61 years on the air, making it the longest-running talk show worldwide. And who can forget the weird world of wrestling. But primetime scripted series have managed to stand the test of time, too.
From a show about a lovable dog to a risqué animated series, here are 7 of the longest-running U.S. scripted primetime series of all time, based on the number of years they were (or have been) on the air. (Keep in mind this list is limited to just U.S. scripted series that aired – or currently air – during primetime hours.)
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