‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ Returns To TV Tonight: How To Watch

by Chris Haney
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With Halloween quickly approaching, holiday movie season is upon us, so you won’t want to miss this year’s airing of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

The popular Halloween edition of the holiday Charlie Brown movie series airs later tonight. It’s coming back to TV after only being on streaming services last year. The movie has been a staple of holiday season viewing for decades.

The plot revolves around Linus trying to convince the rest of the Peanuts crew about a Great Pumpkin. He thinks the huge pumpkin will give all the kids presents if they stay in a pumpkin patch on Halloween night. Of course, most of their friends ignore Linus and opt to go trick-or-treating instead.

The Halloween special also includes a famous scene with Snoopy having one of his typical daydreams. Snoopy is seen in World War I flight gear as he attempts to shoot down the Great Baron while flying atop his dog house. It’s just one of many great scenes in the classic holiday feature.

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown quickly became a holiday viewing tradition when CBS first aired it on Oct. 27, 1966. For the next 34 years, fans tuned in on CBS each Halloween to watch the TV special. In 2000, ABC took over the rights to air all Peanuts specials. However, 20 years later the Charlie Brown specials changed networks once again. In 2020, Apple TV+ announced they had bought the rights to the Peanuts library and also revealed they would be creating new Peanuts shows as well.

‘Charlie Brown’ Specials Hit Streaming Services, Return to TV

Last year, some fans of the Peanuts holiday specials had a hard time viewing the movies. In fact, because the TV rights deal didn’t go through until later in the year, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown did not air on TV in 2020. It was the first time in over 50 years the special couldn’t be viewed on television. Thankfully, Apple TV+ struck a deal with PBS so that wouldn’t be the case this year.

There are now three ways to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. The beloved holiday special can be watched tonight on PBS and PBS Kids stations. In addition, Apple TV+ subscribers can stream the special, or fans can buy physical copies of the movie to watch at home as well.

The Halloween special is airing tonight on Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT on PBS and PBS Kids. But since Apple TV+ owns the streaming rights, the specials will not be on PBS streaming services. Only those who have Apple TV+ subscriptions will have access to streaming.

Fans also have the old-school option of purchasing a physical copy of It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown anytime of year. It’s widely available on Blu-ray, DVD, and in October 2017, the studio also came out with a 4K UHD version of the special. The same goes for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and other Peanuts specials.

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