Woo-Hoo! 'Charlie Brown' TV Specials To Air On PBS

Nov 19, 2020

Charlie Brown finally wins one! The backlash forced the Apple blockheads to back down.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will air on PBS and PBS Kids this Sunday, Nov. 22 (7:30 p.m., Channels 48, 54, 16, 14.3). 

A Charlie Brown Christmas will air Sunday, Dec. 13 (7:30 p.m., Channels 48, 54, 16, 14.3). 

Outrage from fans of Charles M. Schulz's loveable loser – Charlie Brown never won a baseball game or kicked that football – forced Apple executives this week to reverse their decision about not broadcasting A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas on cable this year.

Under a little-known deal two years ago, Apple bought rights to the "Peanuts" animated TV specials to show them exclusively on its Apple+ streaming service.

So it came as a huge shock – and bitter disappointment – last month when It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown ran only on Apple+.

Credit Courtesy ABC

Viewers realized that their beloved holiday specials would not air on free over-the-air broadcast television for the first time in decades.

After hundreds of thousands signed protest petitions online, Apple reversed course. It offered the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials to the Public Broadcasting Service to air commercial-free this year, PBS announced Wednesday.

Apple+ also will provide the two specials free on Apple+ for a few days, as announced in October. From the PBS release:

Credit Courtesy CBS

Peanuts fans will have even more ways to watch Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang on their holiday adventures as Apple and PBS team up for special, ad free broadcasts of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

To complement their release on Apple TV+ this holiday season, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will also air on PBS and PBS KIDS on November 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT (check local listings) and A Charlie Brown Christmas will air on PBS and PBS KIDS on December 13, 2020 at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT (check local listings).

The classic holiday Peanuts specials will also stream ad free and in HD on Apple TV+.A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will start streaming on Apple TV+ November 18, and the special will be available for free from November 25 through November 27. The Peanuts gang will also deck the halls with the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas, streaming on Apple TV+ on December 4. The holiday special will be available to enjoy for free from December 11 through December 13.

A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered 55 years ago on CBS on Dec. 9, 1965. It was the first "Peanuts" TV special, and almost the last. CBS executives and Coca-Cola, the sponsor, didn't like the jazz music, anti-commercialism theme and lack of adult voices, but the audience did. It won a Peabody Award and an Emmy award, and spawned dozens of "Peanuts" TV specials, series and movies.

Full disclosure: It's my favorite Christmas special.  Here's a link to my "10 Things To Know About ‘A Charlie Brown Christmas' " story from 2015, for the 50th anniversary.

Credit Courtesy ABC