Shortland Street is a New Zealand prime-time soap opera centring on the fictitious Shortland Street Hospital, first broadcast on TVNZ 2 on 25 May 1992. It is the country's longest-running drama and soap opera, being broadcast continuously for over 6,000 episodes and 25 years, and is one of the most watched television programmes in New Zealand.
The show was originally screened as five half-hour episodes each week and initially receiving mixed reviews on its premiere. After its launch it dropped in ratings and would have been cancelled if TVNZ had not ordered a year's worth of episodes in advance. TVNZ renewed the production in early 1993 when the show's rating had picked up, and it now has "long-term public enthusiasm". Today, it is one of New Zealand's highest-rated shows, frequently making AGB Nielsen Media Research's top 5 programmes of the week.