These best American soap operas have intrigued television viewers for decades. The first American soap, "Guiding Light," hit the waves in the '30s. When television was invented, daytime was forever changed. Soap operas became a housewife's best friend, much to the dismay of American husbands. Today, soap operas provide both day and night entertainment. Primetime or night soap operas are just as much fun as their daytime counterparts. Whether you're into soap operas or your lady, here's a look at the best American soap operas on television.

  1. "Guiding Light" This groundbreaking show became the first soap on radio. When it premiered on television in 1952, it was already a huge hit. Over the years, "Guiding Light" faced cancellations due to low ratings. However, it stayed on air due to a large fan base and revamping of the show. The soap is based in Springfield, a town in at unknown state, although it's presumed to be Illinois. The Spauding, Lewis and Cooper families are the main focus of the soap. The rich and powerful Spauldings often cause more trouble than good to the other families. "Guiding Light" began on CBS and has been ever since.

  2. "General Hospital" Set in the fictional city of Port Charles, New York is "General Hospital." This American soap has provided the best daytime action, drama and romance since 1963. Back then, you had the Hardy, Spencer and Quartermaine families going at it. The Corinthos, Davis and Cassadine families have  been added into the mix. The show centered around the hospital, but in recent years have centered around mob wars, mental illness and princes gone bad. If you're into scheming vixens unstoppable mob enforcers and battles of the exes, check out this soap opera.

  3. "One Life to Live" "One Life to Live" tackles all sorts of real life drama. This soap opera faced racism, gay rights and death. The main families include the all-powerful lords, bigger than Texas Buchanans and crazy Kramers. Although there's plenty of man-stealing, baby-switching and out-of-control divas on the show, it's well-worth the time to watch.

  4. "Dynasty" Back in the day, "Dynasty" tore up primetime television. This late night soap opera pit the Carringtons against the Colbys. The Carringtons represented everything good on the show and the Colbys, well, they were just plain bad. You saw everything from cat fights, back stabbing, scheming and cheating on this soap. "Dynasty" destroyed almost all competition in the '80s.

  5. "Dallas" "Dallas" and the low-down schemes of J.R. Ewing gave "Dynasty" a run for the money. It premiered well before "Dynasty," but still managed to grab high ratings until the show ended. This prime time American soap featured dysfunctional families at their best. You could watch any given show and go to bed completely astounded. You were often cheering when J.R. got what was coming to him.