To counteract a precipitous drop in its ratings during its previous season, Laverne & Shirley launched season six by shifting the series' locale from Milwaukee, WI, to Burbank, CA. Fired from their jobs when Shotz Brewery decides to switch to automation, Laverne (Penny Marshall) and Shirley (Cindy Williams) pack their bags and leave Beertown in favor of the Golden State, where Laverne's dad, Frank (Phil Foster), and his new bride (and the girls' former landlady), Edna (Betty Garrett), have already resettled and opened a restaurant called Cowboy Bill's. In the interests of continuity, Laverne and Shirley are soon joined in California by their zany ex-co-workers Lenny (Michael McKean) and Squiggy (David L. Lander), and by Laverne's erstwhile boyfriend Carmine (Eddie Mekka). Moving into an apartment managed by part-time stuntman Sonny St. Jacques (Ed Marinaro), Laverne and Shirley immediately come into contact with their new neighbor, airheaded model-dancer Rhonda Lee (Leslie Easterbrook), and not long afterward the girls land jobs in the gift-wrapping section of Bardwell's Department Store. They also launch an ongoing effort to break into the movies, beginning with the famous episode in which Troy Donahue appears as himself. Evidently, several years have passed between season five, which was ostensibly set in the very early '60s, and season six. How else can one explain how Lenny and Squiggy end up as guests on TV's The Dating Game, which didn't debut until December of 1965, or how Frank and Edna, who were married in the early months of season five, are suddenly celebrating their fifth wedding anniversary? Highlights this season include the return of Vicki Lawrence as the redoubtable Sgt. Plout of the WACS, now seeking help from her former "grunts" Laverne and Shirley as she goes AWOL; Eric Idle and Peter Noone, showing up as pot-smoking rock singers in the episode "I Do, I Do"; Lenny and Squiggy imagining themselves as silent movie stars in "Born Too Late"; and "Laverne's Broken Leg," which may well have been the first sitcom episode inspired by the 1946 feature film It's a Wonderful Life (but certainly not the last)! The move from Milwaukee to Burbank did wonders for Laverne & Shirley's ratings: not even showing up in the Top 30 during season five, the series shot up to 20th place for season six.
by Hal Erickson synopsis