Apple has worked out a deal with DHX Media (who holds a stake in the Peanuts franchise) to produce original content for Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the Peanuts crew, which DHX Media will produce (via THR). Evidently, bidding was highly competitive for the rights, but Apple coming out on top adds a very popular IP to its originals content push.
The deal allows Apple to create new series,k specials, and shorts featuring all of the characters from the franchise you know and love, but the partnership will also feature original short-form STEM content (which stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) that will feature astronaut Snoopy and be exclusive to Apple.
Currently, the rights to the Peanuts are shared by DHX Media, who owns 41%, Sony Music Entertainment, who owns 39%, and the Schulz family, who own 20%.
Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts crew, which features characters like Peppermint Patty, Snoopy, Lucy, Linus, and Woodstock, were created by Charles M. Schulz in 1950. Since then they've been the stars of a long-running comic strip, cartoon series, and a film in 2015. The Peanuts Movie was produced on a budget of $99 million and ended up bringing in $246 million worldwide, showing that the crew still has what it takes to bring in audiences.
The characters are most fondly remembered though for their many TV specials, a few of which have become traditions in many households. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown can always be found on television somewhere in October, and A Charlie Brown Christmas is as popular as its ever been. Both are currently aired on ABC annually and pull in both kids and adults.
This is all part of Apple's push for more original content, but also one to tap into the valuable kids programming market. Other content providers like Disney, Netflix, and HBO are following the same trajectory, and the movement shows no signs of stopping now.
No details were released regarding what the first Peanuts project will be from Apple, but we'll keep you posted.
So, what Charlie Brown project would you like to see from Apple first? Let us know in the comments!