Per Garry Marshall and Penny Marshall's books, they hint that they were considering getting a big name for the role of Walter Meaney, but hadn't decided or asked anyone if they were interested. Per one of the books, or an article I read somewhere, Cindy Williams was hoping for Al Pacino!
Initially, the 7th season was going to be the last. The cast and crew even had a wrap party and said their good byes! At the last minute, Cindy Williams changed her mind and agreed to Season 8. This was one of the many reasons that Season 8 was such a train wreck. Michael McKean and Betty Garrett had already signed on for other projects, which is why we rarely/never saw them in Season 8. Penny Marshall was pretty much done with the show herself and only agreed to be in a handful of episodes in the lat season, which unfortunately became known as the "Frank, Squiggy, and Rhonda Show".
Another issue was that one of the last episodes of L&S, "Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow" was a back door pilot for a Carmine-centric spin off based in NYC in the late 60's. I'm sure that Eddie Mekka more than paid his dues for that. ;-) Unfortunately, all of the Marshall-verse was winding down at that time and the viewing public was no longer interested in the gang from Milwaukee. It's so sad that a once fantastic show withered away like it did rather than tie up loose ends and give the fans closure.
"Awesome" ends in "Me".
I think not.