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How long was Gunsmoke on TV and what was the longest top ten running shows?

Dear Vicky,

"Meet the Press" has been on for 54 years. "Walt Disney" has been running in some form since 1954, giving it a record of 47 years. The problem is changed the name a few times (like, "The Wonderful World of Color"). So, the next would be "60 Minutes" with 33 seasons. Does football count? Monday night football started in 1970, giving it 31 seasons. "The Ed Sullivan Show" is next coming in with 24 seasons, but darn it all, Ed's show used to be called "Toast of the Town." "Gunsmoke" and "The Red Skelton Show" tie for 20 seasons.

Now if you had asked about sit-coms I could have just given you this stock answer I already had made up:

14 (The Adventures Of) Ozzie And Harriet
14 The Jack Benny Program *
13 The Simpsons
12 My Three Sons
11 M*A*S*H
11 Cheers
11 The Danny Thomas Show / Make Room For Daddy
11 Happy Days
11 The Jeffersons
11  Married ... With Children
10 Murphy Brown
10 Frasier
9 Alice
9 Roseanne
9 Family Matters
9 Coach
9  All In The Family

By number of episodes:
435 Ozzie & harriet
392 My Three Sons
343 The Jack Benny Program
336 The Danny Thomas Show / Make Room For Daddy
275 Cheers
269 The Simpsons [291 by spring 2002]
262 Married with children
256 M*A*S*H
255 Happy days
253 The Jeffersons
252 Bewitched
249 The Andy Griffith Show
247 Murphy Brown
234 Leave it to Beaver
222 Roseanne
214 Family Matters
210 All in the Family
209 Facts of Life
204 Home Improvement
202 Alice
200 Coach

* The Jack Benny Program is often listed as a variety show

Thanks for writing, stay tuned,


Ralph wrote to add these shows to the list:

 "Lassie" (17 yrs.)
 "Knots Landing" (14 yrs.)
 "Bonanza" (13.5 yrs.)
 "Dallas" (13 yrs.)

Note: I only included episodic series, not variety/game/talk shows.

And Brian Skare wrote to add these comments:

Hi, I just wanted to note, that when you mentioned the longest running Prime Time show in world history so far; of course we all know it's "Gunsmoke" (1955-1975), with 633 episodes and 5 TV movies. "

But, however, do you know what was the second longest running prime time show in world history?

First of all, I can tell you that it's not anything from Hollywood.

Believe it or not, it's a Canadian program called "The Beachcombers", which ran from 1971 all the way to its retirement in 1990.

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