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It also starred Michael McKean, David E. Lander, Phil Foster, Eddie Mekka and Betty Garrett. The series premiered on January 27, 1976. By the show's third season, it became the most-watched American TV program.
In August of 1979 (before the show's fifth season), the series was moved to Thursday nights at 8:00 p.m. (which was opposite the show "The Waltons" on CBS and "Buck Rogers in the 25th Century" on NBC) which caused viewership to drop and in an effort to improve it, it was moved to Monday nights at 8:00 p.m. in December of 1979, but when it didn't improve, the show was moved back to its usual Tuesday night spot and stayed there for the next three years.
In March of 1982, Cindy Williams was pregnant with her first child and after Paramount refused her list of demands to accommodate her pregnancy, she would later leave the show & filed a $20 million lawsuit against Paramount which was settled out of court & Williams was released from her contract.
Despite Cindy Williams' departure, the ratings for "Laverne & Shirley" held steady and it ranked at #25 for the 1982–83 season.
ABC asked Penny Marshall to return for a ninth year, but she insisted that the show move its production base from Los Angeles to New York. Eyeing the cost of such an endeavor, and given the age of the show, ABC quietly canceled "Laverne & Shirley" on May 10, 1983 after 8 seasons and 178 episodes.
During the run of the show, an animated spin-off called "Laverne & Shirley in the Army" began airing on Saturday mornings in 1981. It was later renamed "Laverne and Shirley with the Fonz" when the Fonz began working in the motorpool as the chief mechanic.
Then it was renamed the "Mork & Mindy/Laverne & Shirley/Fonz Hour" and the series ran until September 3, 1983.
- Penny Marshall as Laverne DeFazio
- Cindy Williams as Shirley Feeney
- Michael McKean as Lenny
- David Lander as Squiggy
- Phil Foster as Frank DeFazio
- Eddie Mekka as Carmine Ragusa
- Betty Garrett as Edna Babish DeFazio (seasons 2-7)
- Leslie Easterbrook as Rhonda Lee (season 6-8)
- Ed Marinaro as Sonny St. Jacques (season 6)