Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

11 Longest-running Daytime Soap Operas

Search for Tomorrow (1951-1986)

For the show's entire run, from September 3, 1951 to December 26, 1986, Search for Tomorrow followed the life of heroine Joanne Gardner. Joanne and her friends lived in the fictional town of Henderson, and many scenes took place at her kitchen table over a cup of coffee. In the mid-1980s, in a last-ditch attempt to bring up ratings before cancellation, the entire town was wiped out in a flood, but even that didn't do the trick. By 1986, NBC decided that searching for tomorrow wasn't nearly as exciting as juicy topics like government scandals, so after 9,130 episodes, the soap was axed in favor of a glitzy new show called Capitol.