This is a question that came up this week as I am visiting relatives for Christmas, two of whom are regular watchers of NBC's Days of our Lives daily soap. As of this post, 12 493 episodes have been aired.
I began by calculating the running time of all these episodes, making a few assumptions. From 1965 until 1975, the show was 30 minutes long, but from 1975 since, all episodes have been 1 hour (60 minutes) long. Therefore, I assumed in my calculations that roughly one fifth of all DOOL episodes are 30 minutes long, and that the rest are 1 hour long. By this logic, watching all episodes to date would take (0.2*12493*0.5)+(0.8*12493) hours, or approximately 11 244.
If one watched all DOOL episodes to date continuously, it would take them 468.5 days, just over 1.25 years! If we are more reasonable* and assume that it is your full-time job to watch DOOL, then at 40 hours a week it would take you 281.1 weeks or approximately 5.4 years with no break time to watch DOOL to what is now the current episode.
However, if you wanted to watch EVERY episode, and be up to date with the episode current to the time you finished watching, it would take you far longer, as you would be in a game of catchup. Luckily* for you, you can watch 40 hours/week while only 7 hours/week of new content is released.
One can solve for the total time taken to catch up to the present episode, in weeks, with the formula y = , since you are watching 40 hours/week and 7 hours/week of new content is added. This solves to y = 11244/33, or approximately 340.72 weeks. This works out to just over SIX AND A HALF YEARS!
Given all of this, I would be VERY interested if anyone can find evidence that someone has watched every single episode of DOOL, as I would imagine that many people who have watched in "real time" from the beginning will have likely quit or died by this point. Leave a comment or email me if this person exists.
* This is a relative term.