Daytime TV Soap Operas (Past and Present)

by tbell1826 | created - 22 Sep 2012 | updated - 28 Sep 2012 | Public
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1. Hawkins Falls: A Television Novel (1950–1955)

15 min | Drama

Life in small-town America during the 1950s. Broadcast live, some episodes survive as kinescopes.

Stars: Bernardine Flynn, Maurice Copeland, Jim Bannon, Arthur Peterson

Votes: 15

2. Search for Tomorrow (1951–1986)

30 min | Drama, Romance

Jo Gardner lived in Henderson where she wed many times. She was a motel owner, librarian, then a B&B owner with best pal Stu Bergman. Jo's daughter Patti and Janet Bergman were good friends. Stu married 1st Marge, then Ellie.

Stars: Mary Stuart, Sherry Mathis, Lisa Peluso, Jane Krakowski

Votes: 201

3. Love of Life (1951–1980)

25 min | Drama, Romance

Initially set in fictional Barrowsville, New York, this serial tells the story of extremely disparate siblings: long-suffering Vanessa Dale and her bitchy sister Meg. After Meg was written ... See full summary »

Stars: Peggy McCay, Ron Tomme, Tudi Wiggins, Birgitta Tolksdorf

Votes: 71

4. Guiding Light (1952–2009)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance

This show took place in the fictional Midwestern town of Springfield and centered on the middle class Bauer family.

Stars: Kim Zimmer, Beth Chamberlin, Maureen Garrett, Robert Newman

Votes: 1,376

5. Valiant Lady (1953–1957)

15 min | Drama

Helen Emerson was daytime's "valiant lady", a fortyish matron who was widowed in the serial's first year. Helen valiantly endured sudden financial hardship while alternately fretting over ... See full summary »

Stars: Flora Campbell, James Kirkwood Jr., Nancy Coleman, Jerome Cowan

Votes: 10

6. The Secret Storm (1954–1974)

30 min | Drama, Romance

Family secrets and hidden passions are the hallmarks of this dark, moody serial. Set in the fictional community of Woodbridge, New York, The Secret Storm tells the story of the ... See full summary »

Stars: Eleanor Phelps, Keith Charles, Joan Crawford, Peter Hobbs

Votes: 144

7. The Brighter Day (1954–1962)

25 min | Drama

"Our years are as the falling leaves. We live, we love, we dream, and then we go. But somehow, we keep hoping that our dreams come true on that brighter day." These words opened this ... See full summary »

Stars: Blair Davies, Mona Bruns, Walter Brooke, Murial Williams

Votes: 19

8. As the World Turns (1956–2010)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance

The focus in on the upper class Hughes and Stewart families plus their tribulations in Midwest Oakdale. The Stewarts fade away eventually to be replaced by the rural Snyders and wealthy Lucinda Walsh with her many intrigues.

Stars: Colleen Zenk, Kelly Menighan, Don Hastings, Jon Hensley

Votes: 1,740

9. The Edge of Night (1956–1984)

30 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

In the city of Monticello, attorney Mike Karr and his colleagues are involved in solving crimes and intrigue which touch the lives of many citizens. Some such citizens include dowager ... See full summary »

Stars: Ann Flood, Joel Crothers, Sharon Gabet, Forrest Compton

Votes: 302

10. Young Dr. Malone (1958–1963)

30 min | Drama

Set in fictional Denison, Maryland, this daytime serial focused the on the father-and-son team of doctors Jerry and David Malone, who practiced at Valley Hospital. "Young Dr. Malone" was ... See full summary »

Stars: John Connell, William Prince, Augusta Dabney, Michael H. Ingram

Votes: 15

11. From These Roots (1958–1961)

30 min | Drama

The fictional New England community of Strathfield was the setting for this remarkably well-written serial. The drama focused on the romantic exploits of newspaper journalist Liz Fraser, ... See full summary »

Stars: Vera Allen, Grant Code, Ann Flood, Sarah Handy

Votes: 11

12. The Clear Horizon (1960–1962)

30 min | Drama

Space opera would be a more accurate description of this daytime serial, which focused on astronaut Roy Selby, his family, and his co-workers at Cape Canaveral.

Stars: Jan Shepard, Phyllis Avery, Beau Bridges, Ted Knight

Votes: 9

13. The Doctors (1963–1982)

30 min | Drama, Romance

Dr. Matt Powers is head of Hope Memorial Hospital in the town of Madison, concerning himself with the staff and patients with their attending dramas. He is primarily supported by his wife ... See full summary »

Stars: James Pritchett, David O'Brien, Lydia Bruce, Elizabeth Hubbard

Votes: 149

14. General Hospital (1963– )

TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Romance

Families, friends, enemies and lovers experience life-changing events in the large upstate New York city of Port Charles, which has a busy hospital, upscale hotel, cozy diner and dangerous waterfront frequented by the criminal underworld.

Stars: Maurice Benard, Steve Burton, Laura Wright, Kelly Monaco

Votes: 4,066

15. Ben Jerrod (1963– )

30 min | Drama

Like CBS-TV's "The Edge of Night", this serial focused on the legal exploits of a small-town attorney. Title character Ben Jerrod practiced law in the fictional community of Indian Hill, ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Ryan, Addison Richards, Jeanne Baird, Paul Geary

Votes: 7

16. Another World (1964–1999)

TV-14 | 90 min | Drama, Romance

The continuing story of life in the Midwestern town of Bay City, and the love, loss, trials, and triumph of its residents, who come from different backgrounds and social circles. Those who ... See full summary »

Stars: Victoria Wyndham, Constance Ford, Hugh Marlowe, Beverlee McKinsey

Votes: 768

17. A Flame in the Wind (1964–1966)

25 min | Drama, Romance

Drama centered in the town of Haviland with the focus on the Farrell, Reynolds, and Skreba/Driscoll families. Fellow citizen Kate Austen has written a book with the flawed characters based on people she knows.

Stars: Kathleen Maguire, Lesley Woods, Richard Thomas, Tom Holland

Votes: 7

aka "A Time for Us"

18. The Young Marrieds (1964–1966)

30 min | Drama

"The Young Marrieds" centered around the difficulties in the lives of several newly-married couples. There were Walter and Ann Reynolds (Walter was having an affair with model Carol West); ... See full summary »

Stars: Susan Brown, Michael T. Mikler, Peggy McCay, Paul Picerni

Votes: 17

21. Never Too Young (1965–1966)

25 min | Drama

Alfy ran The High Dive, the younger set hang out featuring the hottest bands. His girl Barbara wanted him to be more ambitious. Race car driver Chet won't stay faithful to Joy while Tad worried an injury will ruin his football career.

Stars: Tony Dow, Merry Anders, Michael Blodgett, David Watson

Votes: 26

22. Morning Star (1965– )

30 min | Drama

A soap centered on aspiring fashion designer Katy Elliot living in New York, her Connecticut family, and other people in her orbit.

Stars: Elizabeth Perry, Edward Mallory, Adrianne Ellis, Nina Roman

Votes: 10

23. Paradise Bay (1965– )

30 min | Drama

The California coastal community of Paradise Bay was the setting for this daytime soap. The serial focused on the Morgan family and their involvement in the mysterious murder of teenager ... See full summary »

Stars: Keith Andes, Marion Ross, Heather North, Dennis Cole

Votes: 12

24. Days of Our Lives (1965– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance

A chronicle of the lives, loves, trials and tribulations of the citizens of the fictional city of Salem.

Stars: Frances Reid, John Clarke, Macdonald Carey, Josh Taylor

Votes: 5,806

25. Dark Shadows (1966–1971)

TV-PG | 30 min | Drama, Fantasy, Horror

The rich Collins family of Collinsport, Maine is tormented by strange occurrences.

Stars: Jonathan Frid, Grayson Hall, Alexandra Isles, Nancy Barrett

Votes: 3,523

26. Love Is a Many Splendored Thing (1967–1973)

30 min | Drama

A sort of sequel to the 1955 movie, "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing" first involved Mia Elliot, a Korean immigrant who fell in love with Paul Bradley and Dr. Jim Abbott. These interracial ... See full summary »

Stars: Robert Burr, Leslie Charleson, Donna Mills, Andrea Marcovicci

Votes: 52

27. Hidden Faces (1968–1969)

30 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery

Set in the law office of Masonesque attorney Arthur Adams, this crime/suspense serial attempted to emulate the success of CBS's "The Edge of Night". Arthur's first-and-only case involved ... See full summary »

Stars: Roy Scheider, Linda Blair, Ludi Claire, Joseph Daly

Votes: 8

28. One Life to Live (1968–2013)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama, Romance

One Life to Live centres takes place in the fictional town of Llanview, PA.around the wealthy Lord family, and the middle-class Woleks and Rileys.

Stars: Erika Slezak, Michael Easton, Kristen Alderson, Kassie Wesley DePaiva

Votes: 2,089

29. Bright Promise (1969–1972)

30 min | Drama

Trials, tribulations, affairs & heartbreaks of students, faculty & administration of fictitious Bancroft College.

Stars: Susan Brown, Paul Lukather, Dana Andrews, Susannah Darrow

Votes: 25

30. Where the Heart Is (1969–1973)

25 min | Drama

Set in Northcross, Connecticut, "Where the Heart Is" followed the dysfunctional lives of the Hathaway family and those near them. The problem of the Hathaway family was quite simple: ... See full summary »

Stars: James Mitchell, Diana Van der Vlis, Louise Shaffer, Gregory Abels

Votes: 17

31. All My Children (1970–2011)

TV-PG | 60 min | Drama, Romance, Mystery

Set in the fictional East Coast suburb Pine Valley, All My Children is the decades-old, risk-taking soap that centers around Erica Kane and her long line of husbands.

Stars: Susan Lucci, David Canary, Michael E. Knight, Cameron Mathison

Votes: 2,366

32. Somerset (1970–1976)

30 min | Drama

Somerset debuted as another pedestrian daytime drama, revolving around the powerful conglomerate Delaney Brands and its effect on the fictional community of Somerset, Illinois. Two years ... See full summary »

Stars: Paul Sparer, Georgann Johnson, Susan MacDonald, Joel Crothers

Votes: 57

33. The Best of Everything (1970– )

30 min | Drama

Based on the novel and 1959 motion picture of the same name, this daytime soap focused on three career girls, who became friends at powerful Manhattan publishing company Key Publishing. ... See full summary »

Stars: Geraldine Fitzgerald, Katherine Glass, Gale Sondergaard, Patty McCormack

Votes: 20

34. A World Apart (1970–1971)

30 min | Drama

The disparity between generations, races, and genders (people who found themselves psychologically "a world apart" from one another) motivated this short-lived serial. Although generally ... See full summary »

Stars: William Prince, Susan Sarandon, Susan Sullivan, Augusta Dabney

Votes: 18

35. Return to Peyton Place (1972–1974)

30 min | Drama

This daytime soap was a sequel of sorts to the primetime series Peyton Place, revolving around the lives of the citizens of that community. It did not carry over the stories, however, and ... See full summary »

Stars: Julie Parrish, Lawrence P. Casey, Katherine Glass, Warren Stevens

Votes: 33

36. The Young and the Restless (1973– )

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance

Set in Genoa City, this is the long-running soap that tells the story of the struggle behind the business, and sex-savvy Abbott and Newman clans.

Stars: Doug Davidson, Eric Braeden, Peter Bergman, Joshua Morrow

Votes: 5,347

37. How to Survive a Marriage (1974–1975)

30 min | Drama

Daily struggles of several female characters, some feminists, others more conservative, who deal with loss, divorce, individualism and love.

Stars: Jennifer Harmon, Fran Brill, Joan Copeland, Rosemary Prinz

Votes: 19

38. Ryan's Hope (1975–1989)

TV-PG | 30 min | Drama, Romance

Set in Riverside on the upper West Side of Manhattan, Ryan's Hope centered mostly on the working class Ryans, an Irish-American family headed by Maeve and Johnny Ryan. They owned Ryan's Bar... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Levin, Nancy Addison, Helen Gallagher, Ron Hale

Votes: 366

40. Texas (1980–1982)

60 min | Drama, Romance

Daytime Drama, spun off from "Another World," which followed Iris Carrington from Bay City as she rediscovered Alex Wheeler, a former love, and moved to the Houston area. The stories ... See full summary »

Stars: Beverlee McKinsey, Carla Borelli, Jerry Lanning, Phillip Clark

Votes: 78

41. Another Life (1981–1984)

30 min | Drama

Another Life explored the lives, faith and loves of the people of the fictional town of Kingsley, centered around the Davidson family.

Stars: MaryJean Feton, Jeanette Larson, John Corsault, Naomi Riseman

Votes: 29

42. Capitol (1982–1987)

30 min | Drama, Romance

This daytime serial dramatized the power struggles and personal machinations between two feuding political families the wealthy Cleggs and middle-class McCandlesses. Storylines developed ... See full summary »

Stars: Constance Towers, Debrah Farentino, Rory Calhoun, Carolyn Jones

Votes: 97

43. The Catlins (1982–1985)

30 min | Drama

The Catlins focused on the lives of two wealthy and feuding families. The Catlin family, a wealthy family who had their hands in diverse businesses, headed by matriarch, Catherine Catlin ... See full summary »

Stars: Mary Nell Santacroce, Michael Forrest, Pamela Burrell, Jerry Homan

Votes: 9

44. Loving (1983–1995)

30 min | Drama, Romance

"Loving" takes place in the fictional town of Corinth, PA, centering around the lives of the wealthy Alden family. Love and betrayal, along with the struggle for power, become the focus of ... See full summary »

Stars: Wesley Addy, Gwyn Gilliss, Nancy Addison, Alimi Ballard

Votes: 274

45. Santa Barbara (1984–1993)

TV-PG | 45 min | Drama, Romance

In Santa Barbara, California, the fascinating and tumultuous life of the rich Capwells around who gravitate other families, from the Lockridges, the rival family, to the Andrades or the ... See full summary »

Stars: A Martinez, Marcy Walker, Nancy Lee Grahn, Jed Allan

Votes: 2,159

47. The Bold and the Beautiful (1987– )

TV-14 | 30 min | Short, Drama, Romance

The saga of high fashion glamour, honor, romance, passion, and most importantly, family.

Stars: Katherine Kelly Lang, Ronn Moss, Susan Flannery, John McCook

Votes: 6,691

48. Generations (1989–1991)

30 min | Drama

Soap opera about two families, one black and one white.

Stars: Kelly Rutherford, Kristoff St. John, Joan Pringle, Jonelle Allen

Votes: 307

49. The City (1995–1997)

30 min | Drama, Romance

"The City" picks up where "Loving" left off. After a rash of serial killings, several of Corinth, Pennsylvania's residents move to an apartment building in SoHo. These people have come to ... See full summary »

Stars: Joni Allen, Philip Brown, Roscoe Born, Debbi Morgan

Votes: 86

50. Sunset Beach (1997–1999)

TV-14 | 60 min | Drama, Romance