These Are the Longest-Running Scripted Shows Currently on Primetime TV
Some TV shows seem to come and go far too quickly, while others feel like they've been around forever. These are the latter. From animated classics to multi-camera comedies and live-action series, here are the longest-running scripted shows currently on primetime TV (not daytime — those soap operas are eternal).
Note: "Longest-running," in this case, refers to the number of seasons a show has had, not the number of episodes. And for the sake of simplicity, we did not rank series that were rebooted after more than a decade off the air. Sorry, Murphy Brown and Will & Grace. (Photos via Fox + Peter Kramer/NBC + Cliff Lipson/CBS + ABC/Mitch Haaseth)
The Simpsons (1989 to present): With a whopping 30 seasons and 659 episodes at the time of writing, The Simpsons is the longest-running primetime scripted series not only currently on the air, but of all time. In April 2018, with its 636th episode, it surpassed CBS' Gunsmoke, which aired 635 episodes from 1955 to 1975, to take the title. (Photo via Fox)
Law & Order: SVU (1999 to present): The beloved Law & Order spinoff is the second-longest-running primetime scripted show currently on the air. With its season 21 renewal, it also takes the top spot as the longest-running primetime live-action series in TV history (measured by seasons). When season 20 ends, it will have aired more than 450 episodes. (Photo via Peter Kramer/NBC)
Family Guy (1999 to present): Of all the scripted primetime TV shows still on the air, Family Guy takes the third spot for longest-running — this, in spite of a short hiatus when Fox canceled the show in 2002, only to bring it back in 2005 due to blockbuster DVD sales. It was recently renewed for an 18th season. (Photo via Fox)
NCIS (2003 to present): What started as a JAG spinoff has taken on a long-running life of its own. With 16 (going on 17) seasons, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service team takes the spot as the second longest-running, scripted, non-animated, primetime TV series currently airing, and the seventh spot in overall TV history. (Photo via Cliff Lipson/CBS)
Grey's Anatomy (2005 to present): As the fifth longest-running primetime scripted series still on the air, Grey's also became the longest-running medical drama ever when it surpassed ER in episode count in February 2019. It's currently in its 15th season. (Photo via ABC/Mitch Haaseth)
American Dad! (2005 to present): Not unlike creator Seth McFarlane's other massive animated hit, Family Guy, American Dad! has persevered through network cancellation and reshuffling to become the sixth longest-running primetime scripted series still on the air. Its 256 episodes over 15 seasons just misses out on the top 10 overall. (Photo via TBS)
Criminal Minds (2005 to present): At the conclusion of its 14th season in early 2019, Criminal Minds had logged 314 episodes and earned its place as the seventh longest-running primetime scripted show still on the air. The show will take its final bow with its 15th and final season in 2019-2020, adding 10 more episodes to its all-time total. (Photo via Cliff Lipson/CBS)
Supernatural (2005 to present): With 305 episodes (and counting) over 14 seasons, Supernatural is right behind Criminal Minds on the list. And like Criminal Minds, the CW show will come to an end after its upcoming 15th season. (Photo via Diyah Pera/The CW)
The Big Bang Theory (2007 to present): The Big Bang Theory is the ninth longest-running primetime scripted show still on the air, and it claimed the title of the longest-running multi-camera sitcom in history earlier this year, when production wrapped on the 276th episode. (Cheers previously held the record with 275 episodes.) The hit CBS comedy will conclude after its current 12th season, with a series finale airing May 16. (Photo via Michael Yarish/CBS)
NCIS: Los Angeles (2009 to present): A successful spinoff of NCIS, this LA-based procedural has 10 seasons under its belt and is the 10th longest-running primetime scripted show still on the air. (Photo via Bill Inoshita/CBS)
Modern Family (2009 to present): Like several of the top-tier shows on this list, Modern Family — which currently sits as the 11th longest-running primetime scripted show still on the air — will take a bow after its 11th season, airing in 2019-2020. (Photo via ABC/Byron Cohen)
Hawaii Five-0 (2010 to present): The reboot of the classic 1970s series has run for nine seasons and more than 200 episodes, putting it at number 12 on the list of longest-running scripted primetime shows currently on the air. (Photo via
Blue Bloods (2010 to present): Blue Bloods joins several police procedurals on the list, coming in at number 13 on the list of longest-running primetime scripted shows still on the air. So far, the show has not been renewed for a 10th season, but if it comes back, it'll push the CBS drama into the impressive 200+ episodes arena. (Photo via Patrick Harbron/CBS)
Bob's Burgers (2011 to present): Although Bob's Burgers, at number 14, is a little further down the overall list of longest-running primetime scripted shows still on the air, it's actually the fourth longest-running animated series of the same designation. The show has been renewed for an upcoming 10th season — and may the Belchers live to see many more. (Photo via Fox)
Chicago Fire (2012 to present): Although a newer entry than many of the longer-running procedurals, Chicago Fire still has an impressive seven seasons and 155 episodes under its belt. The show was renewed for season 8 earlier this year, and will likely continue to keep some footing in the scripted primetime rankings. (Photo via Elizabeth Morris/NBC)
Arrow (2012 to present): The show that spearheaded the CW's Arrowverse will come to an end after its upcoming eighth season, but in its successful run, it became the 16th longest-running primetime scripted show still on the air. (Photo via Jack Rowand/The CW)
Your relationship with your finances is one of the most important relationships you'll ever have, and you can't avoid it. That said, for many of us, the pandemic only added to our financial stress. If you find yourself feeling frazzled, just remember that financial insecurity isn't a net-worth issue — it's a mindset issue. And, we happen to have plenty of advice on how to turn your money mindset around so you can take charge of your funds once and for all.
To start, feeling secure begins with a strong foundation, and there's no better time than now to get started stacking the bricks. It's easy to get swept up in the January "new year, new me" mentality, but really? Any time is the right time to get yourself in order. You don't need to wait for a new year, a new moon, the right moment, or a sign from above. You don't even have to start on the first day of the month — you just need to start.
Introducing NerdWallet: A Safe and Reliable Money App
To help with that, we've put together a list of the just-right-for-you ways that NerdWallet can help you monitor your financial outlook. Haven't heard of them yet? NerdWallet is a personal finance company that helps consumers make smarter financial decisions. Their website and app let you compare different financial products, find articles and tools to make financial decisions with confidence, and keep tabs on your finances (hey there, credit score, I see you!) all in one place. Plus, NerdWallet has over 75,000 glowing reviews in the App Store (and a 4.8 star rating) if you want to read up on any more testimonials.
Tim Chen, NerdWallet's CEO and co-founder, started this financial journey in 2009 after his sister needed help finding a credit card. Even with an economics degree and a Wall Street background, it took awhile for Tim to find the right recommendation (so don't feel too bad when it takes you a while, too). Their mission is to bring clarity to all of life's financial decisions.
So it's safe to say that NerdWallet is a pretty good sherpa for your journey, too.
Get the most from your money
Did you know that the money you park in a savings account can lose value? Harsh, but true. If your money isn't earning interest that's on pace with inflation it will actually be worth less to you in the future. And if the bank charges fees? Forget about it. Make sure you're earning the interest you deserve and come out on top. NerdWallet has researched dozens of financial institutions to help consumers find the best options. The hard work has already been done for you, so you can just select the account that works best for you and your nest egg.
Keep an eye on everything, securely
Once everything is set up, tracking and managing your finances is what will keep the money machine running smoothly. You can create an account either through the site or the app and link your bank accounts, then keep tabs on all your finances in one place. Get a clear picture of your saving and spending, get insights into how to master your money, and even build your credit score all in one place.
Get extra credit points
Do you have the best credit card for your lifestyle? Some cards give cash back on every purchase, ones with travel perks, and ones that charge way less interest than you're paying now. NerdWallet takes the guesswork out of choosing the right credit card with simple side-by-side comparisons of different credit cards so that you feel confident choosing the right one. Whatever you want to do, NerdWallet can help you find the best credit card to get it done.
Know your options for settling down
Mortgage rates are pretty low and it looks like they're going to stay that way for awhile, so buying a home might be the move sooner than you think. But there's so much more to a mortgage than just the interest rate! To help you choose a mortgage lender, NerdWallet has in-depth reviews on multiple lenders in a mixture of categories so you get the home loan with the mortgage rate, term, and fees that's right for you.
Settle an old score
NerdWallet helps you monitor your credit score for free and helps you see how little things (like raising the limit on your credit card or paying your bills on time) can increase your score. NerdWallet partners with TransUnion® to provide your VantageScore® 3.0, based on information in your TransUnion® credit report. Your score and credit report information are updated weekly. But that's not even close to all:
- They provide you with tips from experts on how you could build or optimize your credit score
- You'll get a detailed look at your credit score and all the factors that go into it—your payment history, credit utilization, the age and type of accounts, balances, and any recent inquiries
- The credit simulator tool gives you an idea of how your credit score would change if you applied for a new credit card, closed your oldest credit card, or got a new auto loan
- You also get free, unlimited access to your credit report
When it comes to managing your money, safe and reliable is where it's at. Establishing a healthy relationship with your finances begins when you take control and practice habits that build wealth. Signing up just takes a few minutes. Set your intentions to build a solid financial foundation, it will only strengthen your relationship with your finances. And don't be afraid to get a little nerdy while you're at it.