It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown Airs Tonight

Charles Schulz's Peanuts gang will be back on television when ABC airs the holiday favorite It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown special tonight at 8 p.m. ET. The Halloween special debuted in 1966 and has been a mainstay of the Halloween season ever since. Linus's belief in the Great Pumpkin has even become a kind of meme, with different people interpreting and reinterpreting it to match varying religious points of view. Based on Schulz's beloved Peanuts comic strip, the special's plot sees Charlie Brown and the rest of the gang — Linus, Lucy, Schroeder, Snoopy, Sally, Violet, and Frieda — going to a Halloween party in classic Halloween costumes.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was the third Peanuts special, and the second based on a holiday after A Charlie Brown Christmas. The special was produced and animated by Bill Melendez.

Here's ABC's official info for the airing:

"The classic animated Halloween-themed PEANUTS special, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, will air TUESDAY, OCT. 22 (8:00–8:30 p.m. EDT), on ABC. (TV-G) (Rebroadcast. ABC OAD: 10/30/01)

In the 1966 animated special It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, The PEANUTS gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party. Cast members include Peter Robbins (Charlie Brown) and Christopher Shea (Linus). The cast also includes Sally Dryer as Lucy, Chris Doran as Schroeder, Bill Melendez as Snoopy, Kathy Steinberg as Sally, Tracy Stratford as Violet and Ann Altieri as Frieda.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was executive produced by Lee Mendelson and created and written by Charles M. Schulz. Bill Melendez is the producer and director and Vince Guaraldi is the music composer.

On Oct. 2, 1950, the PEANUTS comic strip launched in seven American newspapers. PEANUTS animated specials have become a seasonal tradition. Charlie Brown kicking the football, Linus and his blanket and Lucy leaning over Schroeder's piano are images to which everyone can relate. Such phrases as 'Security Blanket' and 'Good Grief' have become a part of the global vernacular. Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez's association with Charles Schulz stretches back to 1965 with A Charlie Brown Christmas," which debuted on CBS in 1965 with Mendelson as executive producer and Bill Melendez as animator and director. The three men continued their long-term association until Schulz's death, working together on 50 PEANUTS network specials and four feature films. The network specials won five Emmys, two Peabodys and 18 other Emmy nominations."

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