The animated Peanuts holiday specials, which have been a staple of American television for over half a century, are no longer available to watch via major network channels, The L.A. Times reports. On October 19th, Apple TV Plus announced a distribution deal with Wildbrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions that gave the exclusive streaming rights for classic Peanuts content to Apple’s premium SVOD platform, according to a company press release.
The Peanuts Halloween special It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown has already entered the Apple TV Plus media library. A post made on the official Peanuts Twitter account corroborates information in the press release which states that the special will be available to stream for free on Apple TV Plus from October 30th to November 1st, so as not to interfere with anyone’s Halloween viewing traditions.
“It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+. Watch it for free from October 30 to November 1 and get ready for more Peanuts specials this holiday season. https://t.co/Ue6e351CTq #PeanutsHalloween #GreatPumpkin pic.twitter.com/Tn0n3UKads
— PEANUTS (@Snoopy) October 19, 2020
Similar setups will be in place for two other classic specials. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving from 1973 will be free to watch on Apple TV Plus from November 25th to the 27th to meet the demands of those who make it appointment viewing on the occasion of the American Thanksgiving celebration, as reported by Apple’s press release. The timeless half-hour special A Charlie Brown Christmas celebrates its fifty-fifth anniversary this year, and will be available to stream for free on Apple TV Plus from December 11th to the 13th, according to The L.A. Times. A Charlie Brown Christmas has become a landmark holiday special in the format’s history on broadcast television. In the documentary A Christmas Miracle: The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas, writer and cultural historian Mark Evanier (Garfield and Friends, Pryor’s Place) stated that, at the date of its initial 1965 broadcast on CBS, the special was “the highest-rated Christmas special in the history of civilization.”
The addition of the classic Peanuts specials sets the stage for a lineup of brand-new holiday specials set in the comic’s universe that will become Apple TV Plus Originals, as reported by The L.A. Times. The press release indicates that specials have already been planned around the holidays of Mother’s Day and Earth Day, in addition to New Year’s Eve and the first day of school. A Peanuts New Year’s Eve special titled Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! aired on January 1st, 1986 and the first hour-long animated special, 1982’s A Charlie Brown Celebration, opens with Charlie Brown’s first day of third grade.
Apple TV Plus is available for $4.99 a month.