Charlie Brown Holiday Specials Returning to TV on PBS

by Suzanne Halliburton

Charlie Brown fans, you will get to see your favorite Peanuts holiday specials on broadcast TV after all.

But make sure to find the PBS channel. The network will be showing “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” Charlie Brown, Lucy, Snoopy — they’ll all be waiting for you.

According to a new deal announced Wednesday, the Peanuts Thanksgiving special will air Sunday. You can watch the Christmas special, Dec. 13.

And, there will be no commercials.

Peanuts Was Destined for Streaming Only

Until Wednesday, the two beloved specials, which had been staples on network TV for decades, were streaming only. Apple TV owns the rights to them.

Apple TV still will carry the Peanuts classics. The Thanksgiving special will stream starting today if you have an Apple TV subscription. It’s free to watch Nov. 25-27.

It’s a similar setup for Christmas. The show will be available to watch on Dec. 4. It’s streaming for free Dec. 11-13.

The Thanksgiving special was first seen on CBS, Nov. 20, 1973. ABC eventually carried it annually, every November.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas Special” was the first TV show based on the Peanuts comic strip written by George Schultz. Charlie Brown first began bemoaning the commercialization of Christmas in 1965.

There was an immediate backlash to the streaming-only decision. Fans, young and old, signed a petition at Change.Org to bring the Peanuts Classics back to broadcast TV. By Wednesday, more than 260,000 fans had signed the petition.

Super fan Michael Nebbia created the petition. He wrote:

“For over 50 years, we have celebrated the holidays with the airings of the Peanuts holiday specials on TV – first on CBS, then on ABC. To our shock and dismay, last night it was announced that Apple had swiped the football from us and claimed the specials for their Apple TV platform, leaving us devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch.”