has come back to begin its overall 36th season, inspiring this week’s gallery of the 24 longest-running TV shows ever! (We’re mainly sticking with primetime, non-soap shows, and be prepared for lots of British shows! It’s what they’ve been doing to occupy their time since 1945, apparently.) Doctor Who
Doctor Who (36 seasons)
The original Doctor Who ran for 26 years straight up to 1989, before the popular revival series brought the time pilot to the forefront of pop culture in 2005.
Power Rangers (24 seasons)
The recent movie may have been perceived as a comeback for certain subsets of Gen Y, but on TV the show has never left the air as it mighty morphs into different iterations year after year.
The Simpsons (28 seasons)
Longest-running animated show ever, which has put a terrible strain on many animators’ wrists.
ER (15 seasons)
Handsome people saving handsome guests and having handsome sex. Was it a surprise this went on for 15 years?
CSI (15 seasons)
The show that convinced viewers everywhere that the ghosts of semen are everywhere, and the key to solving every crime, murder, and airline reaccomodation.
South Park (20 seasons)
From gross-out juvenalia to pop social gatekeepers to, in its most recent season, failed predictors of the American presidential election.
Law & Order (20 seasons)
The streets and courtroom drama was suddenly cancelled when it was just a few murder victims away from unseating Gunsmoke as longest American primetime show.
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (18 seasons)
…Though this L&O spinoff is certainly within striking distance.
Arthur (21 seasons)
Yep, the show is still going, kept alive if only for future memes.
Dallas (17 seasons)
Dallas served up hot and sizzling cliffhangers every season for decades, including one that didn’t fully resolve until after 20 years with a continuation show in 2012.
Byker Grove (17 seasons)
Every teen issue under the cloud-covered English sun got covered in this dramatic show, including homophobia, sex, and playing paintball without a guard mask.
Grange Hill (31 seasons)
A British drama for the younglings, all set at the same secondary school across its three decades.
Last of the Summer Wine (31 seasons)
Family-friendly sitcom about the misadventures of the young and old in West Yorkshire, whose original cast included Peter Sallis, known worldwide as the voice of Wallace from Wallace & Gromit.
Gunsmoke (20 seasons)
The Western left the big screen and entered the boomer living room, where it stayed for over 600 episodes.
Heartbeat (18 seasons)
In case Yanks thought Hot Fuzz was too action-packed, funny, and short, here’s 400 hours of village bobbies toiling away among fields and hillsides.
The Jack Benny Program (15 seasons)
The perennially 39-year-old Jack Benny laid down the sitcom blueprint for generations to come with his modern sense of comedic timing.
King of the Hill (13 seasons)
Mike Judge’s quietly resilient show weathered changing social mores by upending and sticking with classic family values.
Knots Landing (14 seasons)
A Dallas progeny located within Los Angeles and set within the most subtle of Satan’s dominions: a cul-de-sac.
Lassie (18 seasons)
Now that we have HD televisions that dogs can watch, a new generation of doggos can learn how to be good boys.
NCIS (14 seasons)
JAG-off that in turn spun itself off with Los Angeles, New Orleans and rumored future series NCIS: Buttermilk, Indiana.
Bonanza (14 seasons)
Hoping to take some of the steam out of CBS’ Gunsmoke, the two series instead ran concurrently on rival networks for 14 years.
The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet (14 seasons)
All-American sitcom featuring real married couple Ozzie and Harriet Nelson and their indentured moneymakers/children, David and Ricky.
Family Guy (15 seasons)
Sure, we got fiften seasons of the crap you want, but it also resulted in A Million Ways to Die in the West. Was it worth it, America, was it worth it?
American Dad! (14 seasons)
Sure, we got fourteen seasons of the crap you want, but now we’ve normalized talking fish and homosexual aliens in every day life. Was it worth it, America, was it worth it?