As if the year 2020 can’t get any worse, Apple TV+ has announced that they earned the rights to all of the Peanuts TV specials in a new partnership. The streaming service, which began its inception with a new Peanuts series, Snoopy in Space, which has since been Emmy-nominated. Earlier this week it was announced that a deal had been made between Apple TV+ and WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions allowing Apple TV+ to become the exclusive home to (almost) everything Peanuts according to AdWeek.
The first Peanuts special, A Charlie Brown Christmas, began airing on CBS in 1965. Many TV specials followed on that network for many years until 2000 when ABC began airing the specials. In that special, Charlie Brown laments that the holiday has become too commercial. Lucy responds with “Look, Charlie, let’s face it. We all know that Christmas is a big commercial racket. It’s run by a big eastern syndicate, you know.” Now if you want to watch the non-commercial special (which of course has become very commercial as well), you’ll need to pay for a subscription to Apple TV+. Well, not completely.
The streaming service appears to have some heart in that it will air It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown for free from October 30 through November 1. They will also allow free viewings of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving from November 25-27 and A Charlie Brown Christmas from December 11-13. It is unclear if the new deal will affect The Peanuts Movie which is currently available on Disney+. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!)
This year will mark the first time that It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown will not air on broadcast TV and this makes me sad. However, it helps that a new music video featuring “The Great Pumpkin Waltz” has been created and two free music playlists featuring Vince Guaraldi’s music have been created. Both Peanuts Dance Party Playlist and Peanuts Easy Listening Playlist are available to listen to right now. Both feature music from most of the holiday specials including “Thanksgiving Theme,” “Christmas Time is Coming,” the iconic “Linus and Lucy” theme among others.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.