UPDATE! It was announced on November 18th that Apple TV+ has made a deal with PBS to allow two Peanuts specials to air on Broadcast TV after all! Read more >>>
It will be a blue Christmas without you Charlie Brown. In case you haven’t heard, Apple TV+ reached a deal with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions allowing Apple TV+ to become the exclusive home to the Peanuts holiday specials. This means that the 55-year-old TV special, A Charlie Brown Christmas (which has aired at least once every year since 1965) will no longer be seen on any broadcast TV station. Ever. That is unless Apple and/or WildBrain has a heart and gives a broadcast network the right to air the holiday special once again in addition to its new streaming service home.
Late last month, Peanuts fan Michael Nebbia created a petition on Change.org with hopes of getting the classic TV special back on the air in time for Christmas once again. The petition’s goal of 100,000 signatures was met within days. It was upgraded to 200,000 signatures. And as of today, over 258,560 people have signed up for the cause.
Apple has said that they will allow free viewings of the holiday specials on select days for those who don’t subscribe to AppleTV+, but that is still a big hassle for some. Who wants to sign up for a service they won’t use just to watch Snoopy on their smart phone?
“We can not let Apple take the football away from us like Lucy always does to Charlie Brown! It’s time for us Peanuts fans to stand up to Apple and Wildbrain Studios (current owners of Peanuts) and show them they’re making a mistake,” says Nebbia. “With this petition, we are making a statement – the statement that #AppleHatesTradition and that the tradition of watching the Peanuts holiday specials should be renewed as soon as possible! Win or lose, we are telling Apple and Wildbrain Studios that we will not fall for their corporate greed.”
Will it work? Let’s hope so. This year has been tough enough. But beyond that, I think an argument can be made that by only airing the Peanuts specials on Apple’s streaming service, the children of tomorrow could grow up without knowing who Charlie Brown or Snoopy are. Okay, maybe that’s unlikely, but it hardly seems like a good marketing strategy for Wildbrain.
You can get in on the act and make your voice heard. It only takes a minute or two and you’re good to go. Sign the petition now. Charlie will thank you.
I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.