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50 longest-running TV series to take in while social distancing

  • #10. It Is Written

    - Total length: 64 years
    - Network: Syndicated
    - First broadcast: March 1956
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    “It Is Written” is the longest-running religious television program to broadcast in color. With the use of satellite uplink technology, this program is also broadcast internationally in over 140 countries. In keeping with modern media trends, “It Is Written” also has a presence through video podcasts and mobile applications.

  • #9. Face the Nation

    - Total length: 65 years
    - Network: CBS
    - First broadcast: Nov. 7, 1954
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    One of several Sunday morning talk shows on network television, “Face the Nation” debuted on CBS as a response to NBC's “Meet the Press.” Both shows share a similar format, featuring interviews with political figures and panel discussions. The show, currently anchored by Margaret Brennan, started as a half-hour program before expanding to a full hour in 2012 under longtime moderator Bob Schieffer.

  • #8. The Tonight Show

    - Total length: 65 years
    - Network: NBC
    - First broadcast: Sept. 27, 1954
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    This long-running late-night talk show was created as a companion to “The Today Show” by Sylvester Weaver, NBC's vice president. First hosted by Steve Allen and followed by Jack Paar, Johnny Carson's 30-year run is by far the most famous and influential in late-night television history. The show moved back from Burbank, California, to New York City when Jimmy Fallon, former host of “Late Night,” took over the show from Jay Leno.

  • #7. ABC World News Tonight

    - Total length: 66 years
    - Network: ABC
    - First broadcast: October 1953
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    “ABC World News Tonight” is currently anchored by David Muir, with the long-running program receiving various title changes through the years. Muir succeeds Diane Sawyer, who succeeded Charles Gibson, both having formerly anchored ABC's “Good Morning America.”

  • #6. Today

    - Total length: 68 years
    - Network: NBC
    - First broadcast: Jan. 14, 1952
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    “Today,” or “The Today Show,” is the first show of its kind and the longest-running morning talk show. "Today" began as a two-hour program with news headlines, interviews, and occasional skits and gimmicks. In the present day, “Today” runs for four hours every weekday morning, currently hosted by Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Al Roker, and Carson Daly. Like many other NBC programs, “Today” airs live from 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

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  • #5. Hallmark Hall of Fame

    - Total length: 68 years
    - Networks: NBC, CBS, PBS, ABC, Hallmark Channel
    - First broadcast: Dec. 24, 1951
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    Originally titled the “Hallmark Television Playhouse,” this long-running program had its start on the radio and adapted stories from the Reader's Digest. Productions featured on the program include the plays of Shakespeare and popular Broadway programs. Like many of the shows of its time and unlike those today, this program, which now airs intermittently, features its sponsor in the title.

  • #4. Music & the Spoken Word

    - Total length: 70 years
    - Networks: Syndicated
    - First broadcast: October 1949
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    The longest-running non-news television program, “Music & the Spoken Word” focuses on religious music performances and spiritual messages and passages. This program is broadcast on both television and radio and features The Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square. The program received the honor of inclusion to the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2010.

  • #3. CBS Evening News

    - Total length: 71 years
    - Network: CBS
    - First broadcast: May 3, 1948
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    Douglas Edwards served as the first anchor for “CBS Evening News,” the longest-running network newscast in American history. Walter Cronkite is perhaps the program's most famous news anchor. Currently, Jeff Glor hosts this nightly news program, with his predecessors including Scott Pelley, Katie Couric, and Dan Rather.

  • #2. Meet the Press

    - Total length: 72 years
    - Network: NBC
    - First broadcast: Nov. 6, 1947
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    Currently hosted by Chuck Todd, “Meet the Press” has been on television for almost as long as network television seasons have existed, premiering in 1947. As a result, “Meet the Press” is the longest-running television show in United States broadcasting history. Beginning as a radio show in 1945, the television program initially featured one guest and a panel asking questions in a press conference format. Beginning in under the late Tim Russert, the format evolved to one-on-one interviews and in-depth panel discussions.

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  • #1. NFL on NBC

    - Total length: 73 years
    - Network: NBC
    - First broadcast: Oct. 22, 1939
    - Final broadcast: Ongoing

    NBC's relationship with the NFL began in 1939, with televised broadcasts of football games leading to a rise in popularity for the NFL. NBC found themselves in heavy competition with the rival network CBS over broadcasting rights for the league, with CBS gaining the upper hand in 1997. After renegotiations, NBC began airing NFL games and the occasional Super Bowl starting in 2006.

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