The topic here are shows that were cancelled after one season or less and shows that seemed to go on forever that you hated. I think the second part is more important back when there were a limited number of channels so a show taking up a timeslot was far more painful.
Like for example shows that I hated that seemed to go on forever include, Married with children, two and a half men, and Captain Planet.
Shows that only got one season includes firefly. I know there are others I just can’t think of other good shows that got cancelled, probably because they were on such a short time.
My top 5 one season wonders (in no particular order), excluding Firefly:
No Ordinary Family
Honorable Mention: Journeyman, John Doe, Freaks & Geeks, Almost Human, Action
Lots of shows go on ‘forever’ that I’ve no interest in. That said, Married with Children is still my all-time favorite sitcom. From this point on, your opinion on any and every subject is suspect and likely very, very, very wrong.
The Ben Stiller Show
Boomtown (the first season was great, then they ruined it in the second season and cancelled it)
The Chicago Code
Dollhouse (okay, it lasted two seasons)
Don’t Trust the B---- in Apartment 23
Freaks And Geeks
Trophy Wife (not a brilliant show but it was consistently funny)
I suspect neither one would be any more successful today than they were back then (MWAWTI was based on James Thurber, who even then had was considered to have an animus against women) but I’d rank the chemistry between Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss (who were married IRL) almost as high as Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore.
A few of my favorites besides Pushing Daisies made it into 2 seasons, but still didn’t live long enough.
Sports Night (the Aaron Sorkin one)
Don’t trust the B in Apartment 23
Up All Night- season 1 was funny
My So Called Life was ahead of its time and would have made it on Hulu or Netflix these days.
Two Broke Girls and Grey’s Anatomy on the other hand, refuse to leave. What’s up with that.
Also gotta nominate Kolchak: The Night Stalker and Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased) (alias My Partner, The Ghost in the States, AND not to be confused with the not nearly as good Reeves and Mortimer remake that ran from 2000-01).