Michael Eisner

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Michael Eisner was the chairman and CEO of the Walt Disney Company from 1984 to 2005.

During his time as the Director for Series Development for Walt Disney Television Animation, Greg Weisman pitched a slate of new shows to Michael Eisner, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Rich Frank every six months. Eisner would only pick one show from the multitude that were pitched at any particular meeting. [1] While frustrated for the discarded premises, Weisman quickly realized that "when [Eisner] gave the green light, other divisions either got on board or got out of the way." [2][3]

In September 1991, an early comedy-adventure version of Gargoyles was pitched to Eisner, but he passed. [4] After the show was retooled as a action-adventure, it was pitched a second time in the spring of 1992, but it also failed to persuade Eisner. Katzenberg, however, told Weisman to pursue the idea further. [5][6] With the pitch streamlined for a third attempt (which heavily leaned on themes echoing the then-recent hit Beauty and the Beast), Eisner greenlit the series for the Disney Afternoon in 1993. [7]

Later on, Eisner liked Weisman's idea during one meeting of developing Gargoyles into an expanded Gargoyles Universe to compete with Marvel and DC. He encouraged backdoor pilots for multiple spin-offs which paved the way for the episodes "The New Olympians" and "Pendragon" in the second season, as well as the early development of both Gargoyles: Bad Guys and Gargoyles: Dark Ages. [8] However, by 1995, Eisner's decision to step back from directly being involved in Walt Disney Television Animation was one of many factors that contributed to the series' end. [9]

In 1996, the Walt Disney Company gained controlling interest in the Major League Baseball team, the California Angels. One of the forty-one names Eisner briefly considered changing the team name to was the Anaheim Gargoyles. Ultimately, the team's name was changed to the Anaheim Angels (and since 2005, they are known as the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim). [10][11]

In addition, Weisman credits Eisner for vetoing the Disney World walkaround character of Goliath from having to wear a stylized 'G' on his belt. [12]

See Also