Because of the coronavirus pandemic, Christmas and Thanksgiving will look quite different this year for millions of Americans across the country, but at least one tradition will make the holidays feel like normal again.
The Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) announced this week that the company had reached an agreement with Apple TV+ to allow broadcasts of two Charlie Brown holiday specials to air on TV in November and December.
Many Charlie Brown fans were dismayed when news came out in October that Apple TV+ had obtained the exclusive rights to Peanuts catalog, including the three beloved Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials, but now fans have something to look forward to.
Thanks to the deal, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air ad-free on PBS and PBS Kids on November 22 and December 13th, respectively, at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Gather your popcorn, toast and jelly beans and watch #ACharlieBrownThanksgiving for FREE on @PBS and @PBSKIDS November 22, 7:30/6:30c! Check your local listings at https://t.co/hpE7KZ9vq2 or watch anytime on the @AppleTV app with an Apple TV+ subscription https://t.co/FqVW2OAoY8 pic.twitter.com/liLVijGeJD
— PEANUTS (@Snoopy) November 18, 2020
The classic holiday specials will also be available to stream ad-free on Apple TV+. The Thanksgiving episode was released on the platform on November 18 and will be free to stream from November 25 through November 27. The Christmas episode will start streaming on December 4 and will be available for free from December 11 to December 13, PBS said.
The deal between PBS and Apple TV+ was struck too late this year for the “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” episode to make a temporary return to television, the first time since 1966 the Halloween special did not air on network TV.
October’s news that everybody’s favorite Peanuts characters would not be on TV this holiday season garnered lots of disapproval from fans. So much so that over 250,000 people have signed a Change.org petition to “Bring the Peanuts specials back to broadcast TV!”
The PBS announcement did not say whether the Charlie Brown holiday specials will return to public television after 2020.
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Jacob Taylor is a reporter at The Virginia Star and the Star News Digital Network. Follow Jacob on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].