Peanuts is no longer trapped merely on Apple’s streaming service, which means for those who don’t own a copy of the classic cartoon Thanksgiving or Christmas specials can still get their holiday fix on network TV this winter. It also may deflect some attention from the tree in Rockefeller Center a bit, too.
Wednesday brought word that Apple, which owns the rights to the Peanuts gang, had struck a deal with PBS to make sure the Charlie Brown holiday specials air on TV after fan outrage that the Halloween special skipped network TV for Apple+. The official Snoopy Twitter account announced an air date on PBS for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.
Gather your popcorn, toast and jelly beans and watch #ACharlieBrownThanksgiving for FREE on @PBS and @PBSKIDS November 22, 7:30/6:30c! Check your local listings at https://t.co/hpE7KZ9vq2 or watch anytime on the @AppleTV app with an Apple TV+ subscription https://t.co/FqVW2OAoY8 pic.twitter.com/liLVijGeJD
— PEANUTS (@Snoopy) November 18, 2020
And the vaunted PBS NewsHour shared news that both the Thanksgiving special and Charlie Brown’s beloved Christmas special would also air on PBS in the coming weeks.
Apple announced Wednesday it had teamed up with @PBS for ad-free broadcasts of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (on Nov. 22) and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (on Dec. 13). (via @NewsHourArts) https://t.co/fkgmv7ByXf
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) November 18, 2020
There was some considerable outrage when the Peanuts Halloween special was only found on Apple+, as it was the first time since its creation that It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown didn’t air on TV. According to CBS, it’s “too late” for the Halloween special to make sense on broadcast TV this year, but fans without Apple+ will have their chance to watch the other two before the year’s out.
The annual holiday tradition was thrown into question in October, when Apple TV+ made a deal with Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to be the sole home of the Peanuts’ holiday specials.
But PBS said Wednesday that while it’s too late for “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” the two other holiday specials — “Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” — will also air ad-free on PBS and PBS Kids on November 22 and December 13, respectively, at 7:30 p.m. local time/6:30 p.m. CT.
A Change.org petition to get the specials back on broadcast television saw more than a quarter million people sign.