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11 Longest-running Daytime Soap Operas


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As the World Turns (1956-????)
The cast of As The World Turns attend the '30th Annual Emmy Awards.
The cast of As The World Turns attend the '30th Annual Emmy Awards.
Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images

Set in Oakdale, a fictional Midwestern town, As the World Turns has been immensely popular since it debuted on April 2, 1956. The show is more reality-based than other soaps, but people do come back from the dead and children grow up far faster than in real life, as is the norm for the soap world. The first soap opera to use a two-family setup, As the World Turns pitted a middle-class family against a wealthy, but troubled, family. The Hughes family remains as the middle-class hero, but the wealthy family that was originally the Lowells is now the Munsons. After more than 13,000 episodes, the world is still turning, and this soap is still going strong.