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Miss the Soap Operas of Yesteryear? Try These Juicy New Daytime Dramas

There’s something for everyone, we promise!

Feel nostalgic for that favorite old TV soap that left the airwaves? Modern daytime dramas are just as much juicy fun. Soap Opera Digest senior editor Mara Levinsky suggests these current shows for every kind of fan.

If You Loved ...

spinner image santa barbara ran on n b c from nineteen eighty four to nineteen ninety three

Santa Barbara (NBC, 1984–93), about the fabulously wealthy Capwells, noted for its rising teen stars (Leo DiCaprio, Robin Wright) and original characters (cross-dressing Mafioso Bunny Tagliatti).

... Then You’ll Love

spinner image still from the bold and the beautiful on c b s
Sonja Flemming/CBS

The Bold and the Beautiful (CBS), about the fabulous Forresters, whose haute couture biz takes them from L.A. to Monaco to Abu Dhabi. Homicidal mama Sheila (Kimberlin Brown, 61) may be TV’s top vixen.

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If You Loved ...

spinner image the doctors on nbc ran from nineteen sixty three to nineteen eighty eight

The Doctors (NBC, 1963–82), the medical melodrama that launched the careers of Alec Baldwin and Kathleen Turner, who said her dialogue was so dumb she asked the writers to make her character drunk.

... Then You’ll Love

spinner image a still from general hospital on a b c
Craig Sjodin/ABC

General Hospital (ABC), which premiered on the same day as The Doctors but lives on. The 1981 wedding of Laura (Genie Francis, now 60) to Luke (Anthony Geary, now 75) was the most-watched soap episode ever.

If You Loved ...

spinner image guiding light ran first as an n b c radio drama and later as a television show from nineteen fifty two to two thousand and nine
Everett Collection

Guiding Light (NBC radio, 1937–46; CBS TV, 1952–2009), the most long-lived and traditional soap, featuring the wholesome Illinois Bauer clan and the wheeling-and-dealing Lewis and Spaulding families.

... Then You’ll Love

spinner image a still from days of our lives on peacock
Evans Vestal Ward/Peacock

Days of Our Lives (Peacock), another Midwest drama rich with traditions, like the Hortons hanging ornaments on Christmas since 1966. It’s campy: The devil once possessed the Hortons’ ex-psychiatrist.

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