Many online have gotten hot under the collar about the news that for the first time in decades, the beloved Peanuts holiday specials won't be available on broadcast television thisyear. Since their first debut, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas have aired on either ABC or CBS for almost sixty years; however, Apple owns the exclusive rights not only to older Peanuts specials but all-new ones too, and they're only available to watch on Apple TV+. Though some of started a petition to bring it back to air, Apple TV+ has made it so anyone with an Apple ID can stream the shows for free during a select window.
Right now anyone that has an Apple ID can login to Apple TV+ and watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and will be able to watch it at no additional cost through Sunday, November 1. Apple TV+ subscribers will be able to watch it any time afterward. As announced by Apple, this will be a trend that continues for other Charlie Brown holiday specials with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving set to be available for free streaming on November 25 to 27 and A Charlie Brown Christmas available from December 11 to 13.
In addition to the classic Peanuts specials, Apple is adding to their roster of Charlie Brown content with all-new originals including a second season of the Daytime Emmy-nominated Snoopy in Space, as well as a slate of brand-new specials that will find the Peanuts gang marking Mother's Day, Earth Day, New Year's Eve and going back to school. Those specials will be produced by WildBrain's animation studio. The new specials also join the previously announced The Snoopy Show, a Peanuts 70th anniversary documentary film from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain and the Daytime Emmy Award-winning Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10.
As of this writing, and as previously noted, a Change.org petition first started by Michael Nebbia has tallied just over 213,000 signatures as the masses try to convince the studios behind the property to find a way to get the specials on broadcast networks.
"Obviously we can't let this stand. We can not let Apple take the football away from us like Lucy always does to Charlie Brown!" Nebbia writes in the petition's description. "It's time for us Peanuts fans to stand up to Apple and Wildbrain Studios (current owners of Peanuts) and show them they're making a mistake. With this petition, we are making a statement - the statement that #AppleHatesTradition and that the tradition of watching the Peanuts holiday specials should be renewed as soon as possible! All we have to do is sign this, send it off and share it."
With the Peanuts holiday specials set to not air on free, over-the-air broadcast this year, it will be the first time since 1965.