You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Primetime TV shows that stood the test of time

Stacker Logo By Annalise Mantz of Stacker | Slide 1 of 46: The arrival of autumn has long signaled the start of network and cable TV's most exciting season. Primetime, in particular, is when new episodes of the best of the best air, including both returning and brand new series.  Primetime on television is a block of time when networks can expect the highest levels of audience viewership, traditionally between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time (particularly Monday through Friday)—once most people are home from work and settled in for the rest of the evening. Networks have historically scheduled their most popular or promising programming during primetime. It's a high-pressure slot; if a show can't attract a solid audience it will quickly be replaced (whether it's bumped to another time or canceled altogether). It is vital that shows perform well: The higher number of viewers a show gets, the more networks can charge for advertising. While online streaming services—Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and all the rest—have made it so a TV show no longer has to be aired during primetime (or even on TV at all) for it to succeed, a primetime slot on network TV is still immensely valuable. To find out which programs kept viewers hooked season after season, Stacker consulted Wikipedia’s list of the longest-running scripted primetime TV shows. The following 45 shows with 10 seasons or more were ranked from most to least seasons. In the event of a tie, Stacker used the number of episodes as a tiebreaker. Read on to discover which beloved '90s sitcom, adult animated program, crime procedural, and golden oldie made the list. You'll likely recognize some of these shows from syndicated reruns, and you might even find something new to add to your Netflix queue.  You may also like: The 100 best TV shows of all time

Primetime TV shows that stood the test of time

The arrival of autumn has long signaled the start of network and cable TV's most exciting season. Primetime, in particular, is when new episodes of the best of the best air, including both returning and brand new series. 

Primetime on television is a block of time when networks can expect the highest levels of audience viewership, traditionally between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Eastern time (particularly Monday through Friday)—once most people are home from work and settled in for the rest of the evening. Networks have historically scheduled their most popular or promising programming during primetime. It's a high-pressure slot; if a show can't attract a solid audience it will quickly be replaced (whether it's bumped to another time or canceled altogether). It is vital that shows perform well: The higher number of viewers a show gets, the more networks can charge for advertising.

While online streaming services—Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, and all the rest—have made it so a TV show no longer has to be aired during primetime (or even on TV at all) for it to succeed, a primetime slot on network TV is still immensely valuable.

To find out which programs kept viewers hooked season after season, Stacker consulted Wikipedia’s list of the longest-running scripted primetime TV shows. The following 45 shows with 10 seasons or more were ranked from most to least seasons. In the event of a tie, Stacker used the number of episodes as a tiebreaker.

Read on to discover which beloved '90s sitcom, adult animated program, crime procedural, and golden oldie made the list. You'll likely recognize some of these shows from syndicated reruns, and you might even find something new to add to your Netflix queue. 

You may also likeThe 100 best TV shows of all time

© Warner Bros. Television

More from Stacker

AdChoices
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon