The Indian television industry has made its way into every single household of India today. It has become indispensable among families of every caste, culture, religion, or region. Because of the tremendous success of the top Indian TV shows, this segment is considered to be the sunrise sector of the Indian economy, showing promising opportunities for rapid growth and increased revenues.
The colossal growth in demand and consumption among viewers has presented enormous opportunities for TV producers to serve different genres of content in several regional languages. So much so that some shows are even aired selectively in specific regions. Did you know Kaun Banega Crorepati is one of the most watched tv shows in India?
It’s no surprise that you can understand the success of any show in terms of the demand and viewership it receives. The increasing viewership and demand for the content, encourage and support the shows to continue airing more and more episodes. Some of India's longest-running TV shows have successfully completed 1000 episodes or more are said to have made their way into the “1K Episode Club of Indian TV”.
Here’s a list of the top 10 longest-running tv serials in India. It’s presented in descending order of the total episode count.
1. Yeh Rishta Kya Kehlata Hai
The typical Hindi serial drama is showcased through the saas-bahu relationship in most Indian households. The first episode aired in January 2009. Akshara and Naitik are the main characters, who play the role of a married couple sailing through the ups and downs of married life in a joint Marwari family, going hand in hand. The show throws light on how the two of them try to balance their relationship through family values, drama, and the different situations they are exposed to. The serial has been a superhit for more than 60 seasons and has bagged several awards as well.
Episodes completed: 3,300
2. Taarak Mehta Ka Ooltah Chashmah
TMKOC, as the abbreviation goes for this popular comedy show, is India’s longest-running TV show in comedy. Produced under the Neela Telefilms banner, the show tries to convey important social messages through every episode, with a humorous twist to it. It is one of the best Indian tv series to watch with the family. After completing their 1,700th episode, the show also found its way into the ‘Limca Book of World Records’.
Episodes completed: 3,088
3. Balika Vadhu
This show started off with tremendous attention from the audiences, as it threw light on a major social issue that continues to be prevalent in many parts of India, i.e. child marriage. Anandi was married off to Jagya when she was merely eight years old. As the two of them grow older, they start understanding what really is happening in their lives and find that they do not actually love each other romantically. Then begins the saas-bahu dramas along with the other difficulties Anandi is put through at her in-laws’ place. The serial acts as a much-needed mirror, displaying the atrocities that young girls who are married off too early in their childhood have to undergo through their marital life.
Episodes completed: 2,248
4. Saath Nibhaana Saathiya
At one time this show went on to become one of the top Indian TV series on Star Plus. The story is a family drama, where two sisters, albeit cousins, are married into the same family. In such a setup, there are some obvious positives and negatives that are present. However, the situation is worse here because one of the sisters completely despises the other and is always on a mission to cause havoc in her life. The serial continues to gather immense attention from the viewers.
Episodes completed: 2,184
5. Sasural Simar Ka
The protagonist of this story, Simar finds herself married into a joint family, which her younger sister also becomes a part of, eventually. It is the quintessential family drama involving two sisters married to two brothers. What really caught the attention of the viewers, however, was the creative twist that the writers brought into the serial all of a sudden that changed things drastically. Despite the supernatural occurrences and larger-than-life portrayal of certain characters, the serial continues to find itself quite popular among the viewers. It is one of the top Indian TV shows on Colors.
Episodes completed: 2,054
6. Yeh Hai Mohabbatein
A show that premiered in December 2003 under the Balaji Telefilms banner, this emotional love and drama soap opera was well on its way to the 2000th episode mark. It is adapted from an English novel by Manju Kapur, called ‘Custody’. The protagonists are a couple - Raman, a Punjabi CEO, and Ishita Iyer, a Tamil dentist. Their relationship develops and grows over time, after Ishita and Raman’s daughter with his ex-wife, Ruhi, grows immensely attached to each other. Raman and Ishita first get married and eventually fall in love with each other.
Episodes completed: 1,895
7. Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi
This Indian soap opera aired its first episode in July 2000, where the present Textile Minister, Ms. Smriti Irani, played the role of Tulsi Virani, the protagonist. Produced by Shobha Kapoor and Ekta Kapoor, the show gained tremendous popularity and became a part of every household and social conversation in no time. The characters soon became adjectives for people in real life. The TV show is based on the usual family drama, where three daughters-in-law try to gain control and power within the household by trying to manipulate their gullible grandmother-in-law, Amba.
Episodes completed: 1,833
8. Kumkum Bhagya
Another popular TV show under the Balaji Telefilms banner, this series premiered on Zee TV in April 2014 and still has an ongoing production. The story displays a modern-day love story between Pragya, a humble teacher, and Abhi, an extrovert modern boy. As destiny would have it, these two completely different personalities somehow fall in love with each other.
Episodes completed: 1,765
9. Kahaani Ghar Ghar Ki
This soap opera is another family drama that was contemporary to Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. Produced by the same production house, Balaji Telefilms, this show went on to become a tremendous success with its two main characters - Parvati and Om Agarwal. A beautiful marriage between this husband and wife can be seen amidst all the drama of a joint family.
Episodes completed: 1,661
This popular drama had its first episode aired in January 2015, on Colors TV. It is one of India’s longest-running series by episode count and the third longest-running Indian television series under the Colors TV banner. The show is based on a friendship between two girls, who come from entirely different socio-economic backgrounds. One is a maid’s daughter, while the other is a spoilt brat hailing from a wealthy family. Owing to their backgrounds and upbringing, both of them find a complementary relationship with each other. Soon this relationship turns into one of jealousy, insecurity, and hatred.
Episodes completed: 1,549