The Top Four Daytime Soap Operas in America Today

The Top Four Daytime Soap Operas in America Today

The Top Four Daytime Soap Operas in America Today

Love them or hate them, soap operas are some of the most popular programs on television. In fact, they are some of the most popular programs of all time. It would not be surprising to find that a woman who is in her 50s or 60s now was watching one or more of these programs when she was a teenager. In fact, she would probably have grandchildren watching them today.

Soap Operas Standing the Test of Time

These shows have stood the test of time. For example, General Hospital began back in the 1950s but is still going strong today. It is impressive how these shows can draw in millions of viewers every day for over 50 years.



What is so interesting about them is that more of the best soap operas have followed a simple formula for success. They choose a family or two, then follow the lives, deaths, and tragedies of these families, often pitting the two families against one another. It has been a formula that has been successful since the advent of these programs.

It is also amazing that soap opera stars can frequently jump into other forms of media, such as films. This is true of soap opera stars across the globe, as many of the most famous British actors have starred in both soap operas and feature films. 

Many of the most famous American actors have followed this route as well. Stars such as Sarah Michelle Geller (All My Children), Brad Pitt (Another World), John Stamos (General Hospital) and Demi Moore (General Hospital) all made their mark in soap operas. 

While it is impressive that these actors have been able to move to the big screen, the reality is that fans are not as concerned with who is playing the part. They love the stories, the intrigue, and the tragedies of these daily programs and prove their loyalty through ratings. Here are the top four daytime soap operas in America today based upon ratings. In fact, because of the way they dominate the market, you might call them the Big Four.

4. Days of Our Lives

Days of Our Lives first began in 1965 and is still going strong today. The show has recorded over 14,000 episodes and has won 226 Daytime Emmy awards. This NBC show was created by William Bell and focuses on two families, the Hortons, and the Bradys. Frances Reid was the big star of the program, beginning with the show back in 1965 and remaining with the program all the way through February 2010 when she passed away.

Days first began as a 30-minute program but moved to an hour back in 1975. This is the most widely distributed daytime soap opera in the United States and has been syndicated in dozens of countries across the globe. 

3. General Hospital

General Hospital has been on the air since 1963 and has earned 285 Daytime Emmy awards. With nearly 15,000 shows, it has captivated audiences across the globe, especially at its height when it followed the story of Luke and Laura. 

Amazingly, General Hospital is the only one of the Big Four which has not been renewed for the upcoming season. According to several insiders, there has been no decision made on whether the series will continue this year. The show had seen its ratings decline even prior to the worldwide pandemic, but this virus may have led to the death of General Hospital.

2. The Bold and the Beautiful

The Bold and the Beautiful is another program created by William Bell. It began back in 1987 as a spinoff of The Young and the Restless. This shows centers around the Forrester family and their fashion empire. The Forrester family finds itself at odds with a group of competitors, most notably the Logans. 

The show had its early struggles to capture viewers but, after a number of crossover seasons when characters from The Young and the Restless came on the show, it has settled into the second most popular soap opera. This has helped it to remain a successful program even though overall daytime viewership is declining as viewers have a significant number of options available to them.

1. The Young and the Restless

You simply cannot argue with the success of these two programs. The Young and the Restless began back in 1973 and already has over 12,000 episodes under its belt and has won 279 Daytime Emmy awards.

Young became the most popular daytime soap opera back in 1987 and has remained in the top spot ever since. That has led many to conclude that this is not only the most popular soap opera of our time, but may should be considered the most popular soap opera ever. It definitely has earned high acclaim.

As the world tries to get back to normal in this Covid-19 environment, there are many who believe that the soap opera industry may be dead. However, as long as shows like this continue to attract audiences, they will remain.


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