Some TV series have broken longevity records in the air. They are series that managed to stay 18, 19, 20, and even 50 seasons on TV.
Series that broke the longevity record for pleasing viewers and fans, either for their excellent storyline or for having captivating characters.
We set up a list of those series that stood out the most.
The Simpsons – 32 seasons (698 episodes)
The Simpsons have been created by Matt Groening for Fox. After being just a series of shorts within The Tracey Ullman Show, the series started airing as a full half-hour show on Fox in December 1989.
The Simpsons is a satirical depiction of American life, epitomized by the Simpson family, comprising Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie.
The show is set in Springfield’s fictional town and parodies American culture and society, television, and the human condition.
With a 34 Primetime Emmy, The Simpsons is the first Fox series to be in the Nielsen Top 30.
Grange Hill – 31 seasons (601 episodes)
Grange Hill is a British series, which portrayed the day-to-day life of a prep school.
The characters deal with issues related to school. Bullying and teacher-student relationship are some of the topics covered.
The production took BAFTA four times as the best children’s program (1979, 1980, 1986, and 2001). After 30 years, the show was canceled in 2008, as it was felt by the BBC that the series had run its course.
Last of The Summer Wine – 31 seasons (295 episodes)
“Last of the Summer Wine” British sitcom. Created and written by Roy Clarke. Originally broadcast by the BBC from 1973 to 2010. From 1983 to 2010, Alan J. W. Bell produced and directed all episodes of the show. The series was set and filmed in and around Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, England, and centered on a trio of old men and their youthful misadventures. The membership of the trio changed several times over the years. The original trio consisted of Bill Owen as the mischievous and impulsive Compo Simmonite, Peter Sallis as easy-going every man Norman Clegg, and Michael Bates as uptight and arrogant Cyril Blamire.
1963-1989 – 26 seasons (696 episodes)
2005-2021 – 13 seasons (198 episodes)
Doctor Who is about the adventures of a time traveler. He changes appearance and personality by regenerating near death. Joined by companions in battles against aliens and other megalomaniacs.
Beginning with William Hartnell (1963), thirteen actors have headlined the series as the Doctor, and in 2017 Jodie Whittaker became the first woman to play the role.
South Park – 23 seasons (309 episodes)
South Park is an animated sitcom created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone and developed by Brian Graden for Comedy Central. Released August 13, 1997. South Park has 309 episodes to date. The series revolves around four boys: Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman, and Kenny McCormick. The show became infamous for its profanity and dark, surreal humor that satirizes a wide range of topics towards a mature audience.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit – 22 seasons (486 episodes)
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit debuted on NBC in September 1999 as a spin-off of the legal and procedural drama Law & Order.
The series focuses on legal and criminal cases, sometimes taken from real-life headlines.
“In the criminal justice system, sexually-based offenses are considered especially heinous. In New York City, the dedicated detectives who investigate these vicious felonies are members of an elite squad known as the Special Victims Unit. These are their stories.” – Opening narration spoken by Steven Zirnkilton.
Recently, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” is renewed for the 24th season.
Law & Order – 20 seasons (456 episodes)
Law & Order presents police cases and the search for justice in New York City. The Series lasted 20 years and gave rise to the spin-off Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. Law & Order follows a two-part approach: the first half-hour is the investigation of a crime and apprehension of a suspect by New York City Police Department detectives. The second half is the prosecution of the defendant by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office. Premiered on September 13, 1990, and completed its twentieth and final season on May 24, 2010.
Gunsmoke – 20 seasons (635 episodes)
Gunsmoke originated on CBS radio in 1952 and lasted in that format until 1961. However, at that time, a version also debuted on prime-time television in 1955. It lasted twenty seasons before ending in 1975. The western was starring James Arness and Milburn Stone (who won an Emmy for the character in the plot).
Keeping Up With the Kardashians – 20 seasons (260 episodes)
Keeping Up with the Kardashians focuses on the personal and professional lives of the Kardashian–Jenner blended family. The series debuted on October 14, 2007. Today it is on the list of the oldest shows in the United States.
The series focuses mainly on sisters Kim, Kourtney, and Khloé and their half-sisters Kendall and Kylie. The show also features her parents Kris and Caitlyn and her brother Rob.
On September 8, 2020, the family announced via Instagram that the show will end in 2021, after 20 seasons. The twentieth and final season is set to premiere on March 18, 2021.
Family Guy – 19 seasons (362 episodes)
Family Guy is an animated sitcom. Created by Seth MacFarlane that premiered on January 31, 1999. The series centers on the Griffins, a family consisting of parents Peter and Lois; their children, Meg, Chris, and Stewie; and their anthropomorphic pet dog, Brian. Family Guy set in the city of Quahog, Rhode Island. Exhibits much of its surreal and dark humor in the form of metafictional cutaway gags that often lampoon American culture. On September 23, 2020, Fox announced that the show would continue through the twenty-first season.
NCIS – 18 seasons (407 episodes)
NCIS revolving around a fictional team of special agents from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service combining elements of the military drama and police procedural genres. A spin-off from JAG, NCIS premiered on September 23, 2003, on CBS.
NCIS gave rise to two spin-offs: NCIS: Los Angeles (12 seasons) and NCIS: New Orleans (7 seasons).
Children’s TV series – TV series longevity record
Some children’s TV series have been on the air for decades. These children’s series helped in the education and development of many children. See some examples.
Sesame Street – 51 seasons (4561 episodes)
Sesame Street has been on the air for 51 seasons. The children’s classic has been on air since 1969. Been in three different stations (NET, PBS, HBO). The series about puppet of Sesame Street has won 189 Emmys and 11 Grammy Awards.
Arthur – 24 seasons (249 episodes)
Arthur is a educational television series for children ages 4 to 8. The show set in the fictional American city of Elwood City. Revolves around the lives of eight-year-old Arthur Read, an anthropomorphic aardvark, his friends and family, and their daily interactions with each other.
The television series is based on the Arthur Adventure book series, written and illustrated by Marc Brown.
Arthur often deals with important issues families face. Asthma, dyslexia, cancer, diabetes, and autism spectrum disorder. Encourages reading and relationships with family and friends. People have different personalities and interests.
The series became one of the highest-rated shows for several years, averaging almost 10 million viewers weekly in the U.S. It aired in a total of 83 countries.