This week CBS‘ The Young And The Restless marks 24 years (1,248 consecutive weeks) as the top daytime drama in households. The soap, now in its 39th season, began its winning streak the week of December 26, 1988. That was a time before Nielsen people meters when household ratings were the main ratings currency. In women 25-54, Y&R has been No. 1 for 302 of the past 303 weeks, and in women 18-49 for 297 of the last 298 weeks.
Besides a winner, Y&R is also a survivor as the broadcast daytime landscape has changed dramatically over the past quarter century. The week Y&R kicked off its streak, there were 13 daytime soaps on the air. Today, there are only four. CBS, which has the most — two — has ranked as No. 1 in daytime for the past 26 years.