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Hangin’ Tough: Longest-running Animated Shows


In a cutthroat environment where TV shows are cancelled left and right, even before the shows get traction, twenty-four seasons is considered legendary. This feat was achieved by the dysfunctional family The Simpsons. 530 episodes is nothing to sneeze at, considering how fickle-minded viewers can be. Over two decades of The Simpsons may exhibit airtime longevity, but the truth is it is nowhere near the current record of 2,250 episodes held by Sazae-san.

The Simpsons was previously recognized as the longest-running animated TV series in the world, until the Guinness World Records decided the rightful record-holder is the Japanese cartoon show “Sazae-san”, which started in 1969. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening was only 15 years old at that time; he’s now 59.

Sazae-san will most likely be undisputed for a long time, but here are some of its top contenders from the US. All shows in the list are still airing.

1.    The Simpsons
No. of Seasons: 24
No. of Episodes: 530

2.    South Park
No. of Seasons: 16 (going on 17)
No. of Episodes: 237

3.    Arthur
No. of Seasons: 16
No. of Episodes: 195

4.    Family Guy
No. of Seasons: 11
No. of Episodes: 210

5.    Aqua Teen Hunger Force
No. of Seasons: 10
No. of Episodes: 124

6.    Sponge Bob SquarePants
No. of Seasons: 9
No. of Episodes: 204

7.    American Dad
No. of Seasons: 9
No. of Episodes: 152

Long-running shows will lose steam at some point, but the shows that forged connections with viewers will likely remain relevant. When the novelty fizzles out, only a few of these shows will hang about.

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