5 Shows That Will Probably Outlive Us All

You are not a vampire (unless you are Malcolm McDowell, in which case yes, you are a vampire) so you won't live forever. That means that at any point in your life, you could be taken away from the things most important to you. Your family Your television shows! Like, you could be halfway through the midseason finale of Scandal and then all of a sudden you're carrying a pickaxe and mining sulfur while a cloven-hoofed jerk pokes you with a pitchfork for the rest of eternity. 

But provided you live a long, standard, healthy life, you should be okay with getting closure on your favorite series. Except for these shows below, which will probably still be going well after you chase that light in the tunnel and blink out of existence. It's a challenge! Eat some broccoli! Get a stand-up desk! Switch to Parliament Lights! Anything to stay ahead of these five shows that will probably outlive us all.


The Simpsons


At 26 seasons strong (plus renewals through Season 28 and 2018), this was the easiest show to put on the list. People born when The Simpsons started can not only drink legally now, but they probably already have cirrhosis of the liver. You'd figure that the show would end when the actors age, but have you seen Bart lately? He looks as spritely as he did back in 1987. Heck, he hasn't even changed his clothes. But for realsie, the show should stop when the voice actors demand too much money, right? Well, not only have the actors gone through several contract disputes (most recently, after several bumps to as high as $400,000 an episode, they took a pay cut to "just" $300,000 an ep), but Fox has made it clear they have no problem recasting the roles to save money. I'll do a mean Mr. Burns for an easy $100K, Fox! "Release the dogs..." See? I'm good.

Changes The Simpsons will outlive you: If you're in your 50s, you'll never see the series finale.


NCIS


A few years ago, we'd put CSI as the CBS procedural that would be the metaphorical cockroach of television, but CBS ended the series after 15 seasons with a two-hour finale that quietly said its goodbyes. And if we're talking franchises here, it's a good bet that the inadvertently entertaining CSI: Cyber won't be with us for too much longer. But hey, jumble the franchise's letters up and add one more letter and you get NCIS, another paint-by-the-numbers procedural that isn't going anywhere soon. With three series currently airing (13 seasons of original flavor, seven seasons of gluten-free Los Angeles flavor, and two seasons of bayou spicy New Orleans flavor), the NCIS franchise is almost as strong as CSI was in its heyday. Adjusting for PeakTV deflation, you can argue that NCIS is actually doing relatively better than CSI, with NCIS and NCIS: New Orleans the third and fourth most-watched programs of last season at well more than 17 million viewers per episode, behind Sunday Night Football and The Big Bang Theory. These shows will be around forever and a day.

Chances NCIS will outlive you: Born after 1980? Your grandchildren will still be watching Leroy Jethro Gibbs, Jr. fight space terrorists on NCIS: Alpha Centauri


Dancing With the Stars


How is this show still on? While American Idol and The Voice and Look Ma! I Can Sing on the TV! saturated the singing reality-competition genre, Dancing With the Stars has cornered the market on dancing and has largely gone uncontested. People love to watch other people dance! It's a scientific fact. Add to that the stone-cold truth that ABC has considerably lowered the bar on what constitutes a "star," our celebrity culture produces a million "stars" a year, parent company Disney uses the franchise as an extra promotion machine for its many properties (Disney Channel, ESPN, ABC Family/Freeform, and pretty soon everything), and washed-up and disgraced celebs grasping for one more shot at fame will do anything to get on camera again, and DWTS has no problem filling its shelves with so-called "stars" twice a year. The fascination with reality shows fluctuates, and even if DWTS goes off the air, it will be back at some point, eventually. 

Chances Dancing With the Stars will outlive you: If you have an AARP card, then definitely. If you're still young enough to cha cha, then we'll downgrade it to probably.


Survivor


CBS's reality show that doubles as an effective diet plan has been going strong since 2000 and is about to drop its 32nd cycle on us. And relatively speaking, Survivor is not exactly suffering for ratings! In fact, after hitting a series low with 10.82 million average viewers in 2013 for Survivor: Caramoan, the following two cycles have both increased viewership thanks to new twists on the game that gave it some new energy. Normal people love watching others get filthy and backstab each other, I guess. And if the international arms of the franchise can survive three contestants dying during filming, then it will take a lot more than death for it to go off the air. 

Chances Survivor will outlive you: The show's motto is "Outwit. Outplay. Outlast." So basically, you stand no chance. 


Supernatural


In its sixth, seventh, and eighth seasons, the talk heading into every Upfronts (the week when networks decide which shows they're canceling and renewing) was whether or not Supernatural would escape the reaper's scythe like the Winchester brothers had so often done onscreen. We worried and worried and worried, and then Supernatural would appear on the schedule for one last go. Since then, we've done a 180 and expected Supernatural to be renewed, and The CW has repeatedly said, "We'll keep on Supernatural-ing as long as stars Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki want to Supernatural," and word on the set is that the two Js are still having a blast. AND the show is doing better this season than it did last season. This will probably dry up before the others on the list do, but can't you see Jared and Jensen doing this until they're 70 and "Carry On My Wayward Son" is celebrating its 80th anniversary? Especially if Jensen keeps using that magical anti-aging elixir that's made from tortoise placentas. He could pass for 12 if he wanted to.

Chances Supernatural will outlive you: Sorry grandmas and grandpas, the Winchesters aren't going anywhere soon. But hey, maybe they'll be able to pull you out of hell.



QUICK NOTES

– I didn't include Law & Order because that show is coming to its end pretty soon, I think. A better option for growing very old is Dick Wolf's new obsession, the Chicago franchise, which is in talks to expand to a fourth series. However, it's too early to tell how long Chicago Anything will be around.

The Voice is another easy choice to put on this list, but I was shocked at just how new the show still is. It only debuted in 2011! Let's wait and see with this one. Especially with the once unstoppable American Idol calling it quits this year as a precedent.

Which shows will outlive you?


Comments (80)
Submit
Sort: Latest | Popular
Jan 30, 2016
#GreysAnatomy &3
Reply
Flag
Jan 22, 2016
Grey's Anatomy will continue on forever... Meredith Grey herself could leave the show and it will still continue lol
Reply
Flag
Jan 22, 2016
Other than Doctor Whom everything will end. Pretty sure Supernatural won't see its 15th season.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
TO TIM SURRETTE: Wait a minute! Where the hell is DOCTOR WHO??? That show will outlive all the others on your list by hundreds of years, since the title character is played by a new actor every so often. Survivor without Jeff Probst seems dubious, although with him it could easily go another 32 seasons, and The Simpsons is the only one next to Doctor Who that could still be on in the year 2999.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I will watch Survivor as long as it is on air. You could also include Big Brother on the list :-)
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I used to like Law and Order: SVU, but last season had two episodes that made me want to rage-quit the series: the one where the porn star college student got raped and the rapists go free because the judge declared "porn stars aren't people," and the Gamergate episode where the female developer, defying orders from a group of sexist gamers, releases her new game... and is kidnapped, beaten, raped multiple times, and strapped to a shotgun, causing the police almost shoot her. Even though the gamers were all captured or killed, they still won in the end because the game developer quits making video games, sending the message that women shouldn't make video games.
3
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Heallo Grey's Anatomy!!! that show will end only when Shondra decied so and it doesnt look to be any time soom!!!
3
Reply
Flag
Staff
Jan 21, 2016
Syfy's FaceOff
Reply
Flag
Staff
Jan 21, 2016
Real Sports w/ Bryant Grumbel
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Watch two of those...
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
If you go back an hour to the 7pm slot you'll find many shows that never end. Like Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune and Entertainment Tonight. And soap operas are well known for outliving people.

But if you're sticking to prime time, then don't forget the news/documentary shows such as NOVA and Dateline.

And of course there's SNL on Saturday evenings because the only thing else the network could run would be a test pattern.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Doctor Who IS the show which should be first on this list. It has aired 826 episodes even if the show has a long pause of 16 years (1989 - 2005) and there is no sign it's going to stop.
Since 1989, The Simpsons have aired 586 episodes, being "the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States".
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Stephen Moffat declared that the next Doctor WILL be a woman, so cancellation is likely due to many Doctor Who purists leaving as well as conservative viewers because the Doctor is certainly straight, which would automatically make Lady Doctor Who gay because the Doctor is still married to (and very much in love with) River Song.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Supernatural doesn't have that much time left in it. You know once either of them starts getting some grey hairs they're as good as gone.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Mark Pellegrino (he plays Lucifer) is 49. As you might know Caucasian people often begin to gray in their twenties and early thirties. Fifty percent of the population has about 50% gray hair at age 50. Conclusion: He dyes his hair. Jared Padalecki is 33. and Jensen Ackles is 37. So chances are they too dye their hair. Hair dyes should be prohibited right?
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
My point was that once the actors start losing their appeal, the show will likely be over.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Smallville lasted 10 years so the CW is willing to give shows that much of a chance. But it really seems to be more up to the actors at this point.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Sure, but Supernatural is past the 10 years mark already.

And unlike Smallville that added more and more to its ensemble cast so that there are always additional eye candy around (like most CW shows), Supernatural insists on keeping a very slim cast which is a huge problem with the CW demographics.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Hi Tim, I know that was not your intention but the title of this article is very gross. You could have said "Shows that will br forever" or something like that.
My wife died of lung cancer in 2012, she was 47 and loved TV shows, one of her favourites were NCIS, the closer and person of interest (still very new at the moment).

I have not been able to see more NCIS without crying, or PoI without thinking if she would have liked it. As a matter of facts, almost all the shows I see now are ones that she did not see.

Please, think of your words!
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
How about It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia?

I agree with the list but Sunny has been on for 11 seasons and it's one of the only comedies that seems to be only getting better with each consecutive season.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Definitely The Bachelor and The Bachelorette.
And maybe Grey's Anatomy, But let's see first how the first entire season with Patrick Dempsey will get them.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
A really dark answer would be Heroes Reborn.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
greys anatomy, amazing race & maybe pretty little liars.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Pretty Little Liars is said to end after season 7, thank God!
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
You can put any daytime soap on this list and you won't be wrong.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Well the one that ran for over 70 years ended.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Yeah, just list Dick Wolf... I don't know how he does it. The original L&O was great, the one that survived the longest "SUV" as we call it here, is painful to watch in every sense of the word.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I never liked any of these shows.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I'm glad I'm not the only one that's noticed how jenson just doesn't age at all he just keeps getting hotter and hotter each season, I'll watch supernatural until the very end.
5
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Given the newest mini-series, could we say The X-Files? I mean, it premiered 23 years ago, had 9 seasons, 2 movies, and now a 6-episode mini series event, a possible 3rd movie rumored to be in the works, and if the mini series does well, probably another set of episodes at some point in the future. Considering it has never fallen out of favor with the general population and is still referenced in other tv shows, movies, and books, remains a cult classic, and changed the face of sci-fi forever, I'd say that is some serious staying power that will surely outlive us all.
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I've heard that the actors have talked to each other about doing more after this season but that they look at their calendars and neither are free until 2018. It's an over-exaggeration on their part, but perhaps it could work in the shows favour in terms of longevity to have longer breaks between seasons.

We may have this season, a movie in another three/ four years, and then a another season sometime after that. By not airing it constantly every year I think series would actually benefit because absence from the audience makes the heart grow fonder. It means less episodes overall, but would probably equal good ratings every time a new season came out.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I like NCIS and Survivor, but have no interest to watch reruns/repeats of either. The reruns I would watch are Law & Order (all, but especially SVU), and Star Trek (especially Next Generation and Deep Space Nine). I'd also watch reruns of Client List and of Covert Affairs. LOL maybe I Dream Of Jeanie too!
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Doctor Who! A show so old the first three actors to play the Doctor have died. (Hold on Tom it's been a sh*ty year so far we can loos you as well.) The show has the potential to go on and on till we invent time travel and then... *mind explodes*

Judge Judy she's not human but in fact a robot sent back in time to arbitrate over minor leagal proceedings.

Soap Operas. (Unfortunately!!!)
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Supernatural forever :3
5
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Survivor will never ever die (to my absolute pleasure, I love this show).
I know in France (where one contestant died a few years ago), people were soon more disappointed that there wouldn't be a season that year than that someone died. It came back with a vengeance the next season and has never been more popular.
So yeah. It will outplay, outwit and outlast us all.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
South Park may outlive The Simpsons.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I doubt it. Funny thing is they are all crap shows IMO.
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Doctor who would easily outlive all of us, and probably already has if you consider they already went to the end of the universe, lol
3
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Wow. Ya'll remember when Survivor launched? THAT was watercooler material: "Can you believe it? They make the losing team kick someone off. How mean is that?"
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I recall CBS would air a repeat broadcast of the eps a day or two after first airing...and those repeats drew larger audiences than many "trendy" shows of today.
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
You forgot about SNL (Saturday Night Live) the cast will change maybe even the show head will step down one day... the show will just keep going...
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
All things considered Supernatural is a better show after 11 seasons than it has any right to be..Has it gone downhill since season 5..Definitely..Downhill does not always mean terrible..Not must see TV but It is for me still fairly interesting
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
These shows are mere babes in arms, try shows with real staying power:
Casualty, 29 years, 30 seasons and over 950 episodes.
EastEnders, 30 years and over 5200 episodes
Coronation Street, 55 years and over 8800 episodes.
4
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Don't forget Unforgettable AKA The Show That Just Woulnd't Die. sure, it gets cancelled on regular basis but then it's either uncancelled or picked up by different network
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Yeah I kinda imagine in like 30 years Unforgettable being cancelled and picked up by a new network for season 28
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I think when our solar system suffers heat death show will be picked up by some alien TV station
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
I only watch Supernatural and occasionally the Simpsons on this list and I can see them staying around a while longer
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Wow, I'm kinda surprised Grey's Anatomy isnt on here...
4
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Good one. That one will def outlive as all, even it's own characters.
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
I would also include comic-book shows on here - they will be never ending - if one get's cancelled, a new one will come along - especially Marvel
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
The Walking Dead and Game Of Thrones should be on this list - there is NO direction in TWD's end and GoT's future will all depend on how lazy GRR Martin is with writing his books - i can't see him wanting the show to end before his precious books (Not a fan of the guy btw)
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I dunno about Game of Thrones, the showrunners seem pretty set (so far anyway) on ending it after 7-8 seasons. I guess anything could happen though
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I still think that is too much - but i know that is just me
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
They've still got two (presumably) massive books worth of material to cover though, so it does kind of make sense when you look at it from that perspective
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Simpsons is the only one viable. Super was good but is way out of time! The rest, well we can do without!
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
South Park needs to die.
4
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Law & Order SVU.
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
The Simpsons probably has 3 more years left in it. But its audience is shrinking, its reputation is shrinking, and the dust-up with Harry Shearer is only a sign of things to come.

NCIS is gonna go the way of CSI in a year or so, Gibbs is retirement age and every story is the same. They're about to lose the lifeblood of the show with Michael Weatherly saying he's not renewing his contract. Don't bet the farm on NCIS sticking around.

Dancing with the Stars seems like it'll last a few more years, but the "celebs doing stuff!" craze will fade at some point soon, these things are cyclical.

Supernatural will be gone in a decade only because by then its fans will be downloading VR porn of Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki (do I mean separately or together? It's Supernatural, you know what their fans want) to get their fixes.

I'm assuming you mean Law & Order: Sepcial Victims Unit, and ever since it became a horrible soap opera with a revolving door of castmembers, it's been "avoid like the plague" territory. The numbers aren't sliding too bad, but if NBC didn't show loyalty to the original L&O, why would they here when "Chicago SVU" has such a ring to it?
More+
6
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Your theory about Supernatural is a classic! But what about this: The CW is ahead of the curb and anticipates audience's lust for Jensen Ackles and Jared Padalecki and thusly incorporates more questionable 'Wincest' stories into the series. How many more seasons would that give it? Surely three or four, at least.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
NCIS will continue after Gibbs. New interesting characters will arrive. The show is so much better since Zeva left & hottie Emily Wickersham arrived. Same as to SVU that improved & renergized with Meloni gone & Kelli Giddish added (best SVU star ever).
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I am surprised you think NCIS will continue without Gibbs. IMO, Gibbs and Weatherly are the core of that show, it's far more character-driven than SVU.

Poor Kelli Giddish and her hot mess soap opera character she has to play on SVU.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
NCIS has excellent writers. Emily Wickersham is fantastic. The trick will be in choosing good replacements for other characters. While I like Gibbs & Dinozo, new blood will be GOOD for the show after all this time. SVU has done a great job at bringing in fresh blood (especially Kelli Giddish), & the writers/scripts are outstanding (far above NCIS). SVU is one of my all time favorite shows.
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Never watched Supernatural. I think Chicago PD is really good, not the other ones. NCIS hasn't been funny for a while, but I will never forget the power-outage episode, when they had to turn to cassette tapes etc.
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Well that's depressing. I like to think i will live forever. Now i will be tossing and turning all night thinking about mortality. I still like Supernatural. The other shows i don't watch anymore. I'm proud to say that i have never watched an episode of Survivor and Dancing With The Stars. That's how i loath :"reality" TV. Between quotes because i never understood the name. It's hasn't got anything to do with reality. Scientific fact that watching reality TV leads to homicidal tendencies.
It's not playing violent shooter games or watching Hannibal. Reality TV is the root of all evil. But even stars do die. But then they just call it: Dancing With The Supernovas.


1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I second that scientific fact.
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Not surprised that Dancing with the Stars and Survivor are on this list. South Park should be to.

Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Doctor Who.

Hasn't it already? If you ignore that "hiatus" from 1989 until 2005 (and you ignore the Fox TV Movie and all the non-TV media in that period), you're talking 50+ years. It's already outlived a large chunk of its original viewers.
3
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
And cast members...
2
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
Well, yes, but some of them were no spring chickens even when the show began.
1
Reply
Flag
Jan 21, 2016
I'm sure the new iteration of Doctor Who will die at some stage, but much like the Doctor himself I'm sure we'll see another version/ continuation/ reboot (whatever you want to call it) after that.
3
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
"But hey, maybe they'll be able to pull you out of Hell."

Ouch.
6
Reply
Flag
Jan 20, 2016
Supernatural was the first thing that popped into my head (and like, seriously, I think I am actually the same age that Jensen actually is right now if not a year or two older, but like, I'm a woman so I have a few years of guys). But, the Simpsons, wow, I forget that is on, and it makes me feel old that I remember the Tracey Ullmann show where they were born. The thing about Survivor is that I think I fairly faithfully watched it the first like five seasons. Then, I got bored. I returned for the early teens. Got bored. Then I think I watched Season 20 and honestly, the thing that made me stop was the finale show. I could legitimately make time on Wednesdays, Arrow is the only thing on I watch, but then they take over a Sunday that like the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones and whatever else I watch is on.
Reply
Flag