Best Soap Operas Of All Time: ABC and People Magazine Reveal Top 5

What are the greatest television shows of all time? Who are our favorite TV mom and dad? Who is our favorite television host of all time? A collaboration between ABC News and PEOPLE magazine gave TV fans the opportunity to vote online for their favorites of all time. With more than one million votes cast, the results in some categories are being revealed during a two-hour broadcast, a special edition of 20/20, "Best in TV: The Greatest TV Shows of Our Time with Barbara Walters," airing Tuesday night.

The viewers choice for best soap opera is being revealed online. Watch Barbara Walters count down the The Top 5 below:


What did you think of the viewers choices? What is your favorite soap opera of all time?

In case you were wondering, I LOVE LUCY was voted the best show of all time, beating out finalists SEINFELD, M*A*S*H, ALL IN THE FAMILY and CHEERS. All five finalists were comedies.  LUCY was also named Best TV Comedy.

ER was voted Best TV Drama.  FRIENDS was named Best TV Theme Song.  The Best TV Game Show was JEOPARDY.


  1. This is a joke, right? One Life to LIve should be number one, and should General Hospital even be on this list?

  2. I would have included Guiding Light or As The World Turns in the list.

  3. Honestly, I don't believe these results. Did someone fail math class when counting was being taught? WTH is One Life to Live?

  4. I agree with GH being number one and I'm a fan on AMC as well, but who is this random guy talking about why it's #1? If they could show a clip with Susan, why couldn't they show anything with any GH people?

  5. Honestly not a fair poll when u have abc who made the poll. Disagree number one should be one life to live. Second guiding light/as the world turns. Third GH four days of our lives. Then Amc, young and the restless and last bold beautiful

  6. I adored Another World but didn't expect it to make this list. Ryan's Hope, Santa Barbara, Search for Tomorrow, The Edge of Night are other shows that might have received lots of votes. And B&B of the remaining daytime soaps.

    It's cool that Dark Shadows, off the air 41 years, still has such a passionate fanbase.

  7. "GH" deserves to be number one. Up until in recent years "GH" had the strongest writing, the most memorable storylines and remained very popular with fans.

    "OLTL" was always the ugly step-child when it came to ABC's soaps. It had never much meaning in the public eye or such an impact like "DAYS", "GH", "Y&R", "AMC" or "Dark Shadows" had.

  8. why was oltl not on the top five. oltl had divesity the first african american family on soaps. it was about middle class people rich people interacting with each other in everyday life. although great soaps WHY DARK SHADOWS OR YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. DID THEY forget about as the world turns or guiding light. please whoever voted on these best of never watched soaps

  9. No GL, the granddaddy! OLTL should have been on list.

  10. I was so glad to see "Dark Shadows" make this list. For those griping about that, this show helped put fledgling ABC Daytime on the map and redefined the vampire character for many shows to follow. It also is the only soap I know of to be completely available on DVD, have a TV remake and 3 movies made from it, one of the movies being A list all the way.

    It was a sensation in its time, although frankly, I do agree that GH on the basis of the hysteria over Luke and Laura probably deserves the top spot.

  11. The only Soap I would have added would have been "Guiding Light" shame on them by not adding it!!��

  12. Is there a special reason why One Life to Live is not on the list? This is ridiculous. As a lifelong viewer of both AMC and OLTL, I can say for sure that OLTL deserves to be on that list more than AMC.
    Just another blow to the fans by the jerks at ABC/D.

  13. ATWT was the number one soap opera for around 20 years. That should count for something. Penny and Jeff were the first super couple. Eileen Fulton played the first "bitch" as well as be featured in the first and only prime time spin off. ATWT also had Kathy Hayes who is a super actress who won emmy nominations for 2 prime time tv shows. Not to forget Meg Ryan, Julliane Moore, and others who started on this show.
    To be fair all the shows merit praise but it does seem ATWT is underated as a classic soap.


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