A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Owns Pre-Thanksgiving Ratings

The holiday TV season began in earnest with a strong performance from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, which took the top spot in last night's live ratings, according to Nielsen. Per Deadline, "The classic animated special won Thanksgiving eve with a 1.2 rating in the adults 18-49 demographic and 5.52 million viewers. It may have topped Wednesday, but the animated classic has seen a steady decline. Last year it was at a 1.5 rating and in 2017 it was at 1.7." The film is not the first big holiday special from the Peanuts gang -- that would be It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown -- but from here on out, there are a number of specials, both famous and less-so, that will air between now and New Years.

The special always generates a ton of chatter on social media, whether it's about Franklin being excluded from the dinner by the white kids, Woodstock going cannibal when it's time to break out the turkey. It's maybe no surprise, then, that while they're talking about it on the internet, there are at least a handful of people switching the TV on.

Based on characters from the popular Peanuts comic strip created by Charles M. Shulz, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving originally aired on November 20, 1973 on CBS and aired every year on the network until 2000. In 2001, the special moved along with the rest of the Peanuts specials -- such as It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown for Halloween and A Charlie Brown Christmas in December -- to ABC where it has aired ever since. Since 2008, it has aired in conjunction with an abridged version of This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers -- which is actually the first episode to the 1988 miniseries This Is America, Charlie Brown -- to round out the hour programming block.

In A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, Charlie Brown wants to do something special for the gang. However, the dinner he arranges is a disaster when the caterers, Snoopy and Woodstock, prepare toast and popcorn as the main dish. Humiliated, it will take all of Marcie's persuasive powers to salvage the holiday for Charlie Brown.

In This Is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers the year is 1620. After 65 grueling, sea-tossed days, the Pilgrims are in view of America's shores – and Charlie Brown and the Peanuts crew are with them as they experience firsthand the lifestyle of the early settlers and celebrate the first Thanksgiving.

You can also catch new Snoopy stories on Apple TV's streaming service.