For the first time since 1965, the Peanuts holiday specials are not scheduled to air on broadcast TV
Good grief! A 55-year streak has been broken.
The first time It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown aired on television, it preempted My Three Sons. As in, an original episode of My Three Sons. The date was October 27, 1966, and Douglas family fans had just seen Yvonne Craig play a meter maid the previous week. Instead, CBS viewers got the Peanuts crew.
The idea of a Peanuts holiday special, and a Peanuts cartoon in general, was still relatively novel. Great Pumpkin was just the third animated special from the mind of Charles Schulz. A Charlie Brown Christmas has premiered one year earlier. The Christmas special was so popular, it revitalized the live tree industry and decimated the plastic Christmas tree trend.
The overlooked baseball-themed Charlie Brown's All Stars! aired between Charlie Brown Christmas and Great Pumpkin in the summer of 1966. Since 1966, 42 additional Peanuts animated specials have been produced for broadcast television. More importantly, the two most popular ones, the Xmas and Halloween gems, have been reaired every year as well. Until now.
In 2020, Apple TV+ procured the rights to the Peanuts holiday specials and will offer them on the streaming service. As of now, ABC, the most recent home of Snoopy and his gang, has no plans to show Great Pumpkin over broadcast television, according to People.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (1973) and A Charlie Brown Christmas are slated for a similar fate.
Itching for more Snoopy in your life? Our most recent episode of Collector's Call featured perhaps the largest Peanuts collection on the planet. We had to go all the way to Australia to find it. Check out a few of the 15,384 Peanuts collectibles in the home of Lisa Ridey.
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I started buying the DVDs after I saw how ABC was butchering the specials beyond belief. But, it's no great loss for me - I can watch the Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, etc. specials again *uncut,* and at my convenience. So I *won't* miss any of them - it's just a matter of *when* I can fit them into my schedule!
Linus' retelling of that story is *also* protected by the First Amendment.