- Time it takes to binge: 474 days, 22 hours
“General Hospital,” created by husband-and-wife team Frank and Doris Hursley, is the longest-running scripted drama and the longest-running American soap opera. The show celebrated its 55th anniversary in 2018, and has been praised by numerous national organizations for the awareness it brought to health and social issues, like LGBTQ+ issues and HIV/AIDS. In the time it would take for a dedicated daytime soap fan to watch the show, one could be more than halfway to Jupiter (flight time from Earth is about 640 days).
- Time it takes to binge: 7 days, 8 hours
“House” is a medical drama that focuses on the prickly but genius Dr. Gregory House and his many confounding cases. Dr. House, who is based on fictional detective Sherlock Holmes, is played by Hugh Laurie. In 2008, “House” was the most popular show in the world, with over 81.8 million people tuning in each week. The fame wasn’t easy for Laurie, who admitted he stopped doing regular tasks like going to the grocery store because he couldn’t handle the attention.
Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Time it takes to binge: 7 days, 10 hours
Set in the 24th century, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” follows Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his team on the U.S.S. Enterprise as they traipse around the universe “seeking out new life and new civilizations, and going boldly where no man has gone before.” The show ran for seven seasons and 177 episodes, despite its rocky beginning. Reportedly, creator Gene Roddenberry clashed so frequently with writers and producers, that 30 writers left the show during its first season. Today, however, “Star Trek: The Next Generation” is widely regarded as one of the best sci-fi series of all time.
- Time it takes to binge: 3 days, 18 hours
In 2019, “Seinfeld” celebrated 30 years since the release of its pilot episode “The Seinfeld Chronicles.” The official verdict of that first episode was that it was “weak,” but 30 years on, the show is acknowledged as a hit. “Seinfeld,” the show famously about nothing, changed the way sitcoms were written and shot, and when its finale aired in 1998, 76 million Americans tuned in to watch. Bingers can find all nine seasons on Hulu.
- Time it takes to binge: 9 days, 2 hours
One of the longest-running science fiction series in network history, “The X-Files,” starring Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as Dana Scully and Fox Mulder, respectively, ran for a total of 11 seasons. The initial run of the show, from 1993 to 2002, was so popular that “The X-Files” was brought back in 2016 for another season, and again in 2018 for a final season. At this point, the show’s stars and network have both said there won’t be any more seasons, but devoted fans are still crossing their fingers that the two FBI agents will uncover a little more paranormal activity.
- Time it takes to binge: 15 days, 19 hours
Now in its 17th season, the time it would take to watch the Naval Criminal Investigative Service solve crimes and restore justice only continues to grow. With an all-star cast, including Mark Harmon and Michael Weatherly, “NCIS” has been nominated for a handful of primetime Emmy Awards, but has yet to bring one home. In the time it would take fans to watch all current episodes, they could take a steamship from New York to London with a few hours to spare.
- Time it takes to binge: 2 days, 8 hours
A period piece set between 1912 and 1926, “Downton Abbey” follows the lives and dramas of the Crowley family and their host of servants. Produced by Carnival Films, the show aired on PBS in America as a part of the network’s Masterpiece series. With major stars like Maggie Smith, Hugh Bonneville, and Michelle Dockery, the show quickly became a cult favorite, and with its 69 Emmy nominations, the most nominated non-U.S. series in Emmy history. In 2019, a full-length feature film was released starring the original cast.
- Time it takes to binge: 4 days
A forensic technician by day and a serial killer by night, the title character of Showtime’s “Dexter” spent eight seasons torn between his deadly compulsion and his desire for true happiness. The first season of the show was based on a book by Jeff Lindsay, titled “Darkly Dreaming Dexter,” but over the course of the rest of the series, the show strayed far from the source material. Dexter was awarded a shelf full of Golden Globes and Emmy Awards throughout its run, but in the end, fans were overwhelmingly unhappy with how it all ended.
- Time it takes to binge: 6 days, 9 hours
Set in the fictional town of Stars Hollow, “Gilmore Girls” followed mother-daughter pair Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (played by Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel), as well as a host of colorful characters who populated their small New England town. The show first aired on the WB in 2000 and its hundreds of pop culture references have made it a time capsule of sorts. In 2016, nine years after the show’s cancellation, Netflix brought it back for a four-part revival called “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.” Die-hard fans are still holding on to hope that creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Dan Palladino will bring their beloved series back for yet another revival.
- Time it takes to binge: 2 days, 14 hours
In 1999, Matt Groening launched “Futurama” an animated classic about a pizza delivery boy, Philip J. Fry, who was cryogenically frozen on Dec. 31, 1999, only to wake up New Year’s Day 3000. Fry and his mutant friends traveled around the universe for a total of seven seasons: four on Fox, one season of direct-to-DVD films produced by Comedy Central, and two half-hour-episode-long seasons on the Comedy Central network. For all of its side-splitting humor, “Futurama” tackled some pretty heavy scientific topics, including creating a new mathematical theorem in the episode “The Prisoner of Benda.”2018 All rights reserved.