Why is Survivor is still on the air, to get Eisner's goat...... :devil:
ABC had the first chance to buy the program, but passed (since they would have had to buy the entire series without the benefit of a pilot), they also passed on "CSI".... This info from the new book "Disney War" by James B. Stewart.
Survivor was designed partly by Michael Davies, who worked for Disney's Buena Vista TV unit back in the mid-90's. He teamed up with Charlie Parsons, who works for Britsh Television. They pitched it to ABC, then to CBS and NBC, who also both said no. It was Lauren Corrao at FOX who wanted to buy it.
But then Disney bought ABC in Spetember 1995, and directed that anything Buena Vista was working on had to get a new look. Corrao at FOX was furious, and then ABC gave $130,000 to work on the project (called "Survive" at the time). The original slogan was "Action, Bravery, Commitment".
It was sent to Bob Iger for review, he thought about it overnight, and then said no.
When the development deal ran out with ABC, ABC decided to not renew it, and the idea was sold to Swedish television.
ABC again had the chance to get Survivor after the Swedish version aired, in a meeting that Michael Davies attended, run by Michael Eisner, he was called upon, and felt he had the chance to make one big push, but had two big ideas, Survivor and Millionaire. He chose to push Millionaire, and once again Survivor was passed on.
When Survivor first aired on CBS, it was directly against Millionaire.
After just 2 head-to-head battles, ABC cancelled the Thursday night showings of Millionaire.
Then it was brought back, this time Thursday at 9 PM, instead of 8.
And guess what, the other big show that ABC had the first chance to buy and develop was scheduled on CBS... "CSI", after 3 months (including the November sweeps) in 2001, ABC cut back Millionaire to one night a week (Sundays).