Because we all had a rough year, many are looking to the upcoming holiday season to lift their spirits and sprinkle some holiday joy over a year full of disappointment.
However, living up to the 2020 expectations one holiday tradition is in jeopardy – Charlie Brown holiday specials.
From the frightening Great Pumpkin to failed football punts to competitive Christmas decorations contests, families across the country for 54 years get into the holiday mood by watching their favorite Peanuts characters celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas on broadcast TV. Originally, CBS was the home of these iconic episodes, but they moved to ABC in 2001. This year, Peanut lovers will not have the luxury to watch the annual broadcast of the Charlie Brown holiday episodes on TV, instead they must watch them on the streaming service Apple TV+.
On Monday, Apple TV+ made a deal with Wild Brain, Peanuts Worldwide, and Lee Mendelson Productions to receive exclusive rights to all things Peanuts. In other words, Apple TV+ will be the only place to watch the classic holiday specials.
With Halloween just a little over a week away, Apple TV+ released “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” on October 19.
Celebrate Halloween with the Peanuts gang. Stream "It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" exclusively on Apple TV+ and get ready for more Peanuts specials this holiday season. https://t.co/rq6TFCLS8L pic.twitter.com/DI14FsjR1l
— Apple TV (@AppleTV) October 19, 2020
Additionally, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will be available on November 18 as well as “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on December 4.
Though Apple TV+ may be using the Peanuts franchise to gain some subscribers and compete with platforms such as Disney Plus and Netflix, they do not want to steal the holidays from us like the Grinch.
When each holiday approaches, for a limited time they will allow people to watch the holiday specials for free. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will be available from Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” Nov. 25 – Nov. 27, and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Dec. 11 – Dec. 13.
But for many it is still not the same.
Fans Are Furious
Although fans can stream the holiday specials for a few days on their computers or other Apple devices without a subscription to the streaming service, people are still upset as they feel it is not the same as watching it on broadcast TV.
Apparently they are letting the Charlie Brown specials stream for free for select days around each relevant holiday.. still gotta download the app though :/
— Beth (@yourbeth_friend) October 21, 2020
i'm so upset about this ngl… i grew up watching charlie brown great pumpkin, thanksgiving & christmas specials with my mom on tv every year this is lowkey really making me sad
— grace (@okbutday6) October 21, 2020
Breaking: Charlie Brown holiday specials taken off broadcast TV this year.
Twitter: “Not Charlie Brown—“pic.twitter.com/SdMPSPDa6A
— Jermaine Watkins ✍🏾 (@JermaineWatkins) October 21, 2020
People are also angry because watching Charlie Brown is a tradition and bonding event for many families, and they believe Apple TV+ is taking away this American holiday tradition from those who cannot afford streaming services or Apple devices.
Far be for me to tell anyone what to air, but after 54 years, 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' on broadcast TV is a right, not a privilege. pic.twitter.com/OgGyAs9zxp
— Eric Alper 🎧 (@ThatEricAlper) October 21, 2020
You stole the tradition of Charlie Brown Holidays from America.
Shame on you.
— Aaron Ammons (@AaronAmmons4) October 21, 2020
While I am not a US citizen i feel that ABC not airing It's The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown this year is an infringement on my rights as a lawful permanent resident of this country!
— Zani Budapest (@BudapestZani) October 21, 2020
@AppleTV @Apple Put the Charlie brown specials back on ABC and CBS. These programs have been part of people's holiday experience for over 50 years! And some families don't have access to the internet and you're taking this away from them. #givebackcharliebrown
— Maddy Monster (@Monster_Maddy1) October 21, 2020
Many may be shocked by this news, but others are not surprised because this is just one more thing 2020 has taken away from them.
So you’re telling me that they are not going to show Charlie Brown on ABC this year?!?! I’m so over 2020😭 pic.twitter.com/CeuU4cyp3a
— mia drowned at bly manor (@hannibalfoodie) October 20, 2020
Charlie Brown won’t broadcast on TV this year 💔
No “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown”, no “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” & no “A Charlie Brown Christmas”…
How dare you, 2020!
Our anxieties already had anxieties pic.twitter.com/wcPYUostWK
— Mychal (@mychal3ts) October 21, 2020
NO CHARLIE BROWN HOLIDAY SPECIALS????? 2020 HAS TAKEN EVERYTHINY FROM ME pic.twitter.com/honsMMt4s6
— basillhalward struggle tweets (@basillhalward) October 21, 2020
One Twitter user claims that without Charlie Brown to celebrate the holidays, she will be forced to turn to the dark side.
charlie brown holiday specials no longer airing on tv is gonna be my villain origin story
— no (@miskeencore) October 21, 2020
Some other Twitter users are making memes on how Charlie Brown is the latest victim of Cancel Culture, literally.
— Cory Bridgmon (@cbridgmon) October 21, 2020
Even you've been cancelled, Charlie Brown#2020PeanutsSpecials
— Doc Darnell 🌊 (@DocDarnell) October 21, 2020
Because Charlie Brown is cancelled, many are seeing this as a sign that Christmas will be cancelled too.
— JimmyN (@JZMNOB) October 21, 2020
They announced ‘its the great pumpkin, Charlie brown’ wont air on TV this year. #stamp Christmas officially cancelled.
— KNS (@SocialQuiche) October 21, 2020
For some, nothing will stop the Peanuts family from joining them in their holiday celebrations as they are willing to jump back in time and search for their dusty DVDs of the Peanuts holiday episodes.
Sad no Great Pumpkin or Charlie Brown Christmas. Glad I have them on DVD.
— Sharon D (@DiMartino0963) October 21, 2020
Charlie Brown won't air on TV for first time in decades as it moves to Apple TV+ https://t.co/lQ5hl4DjpU #FoxNews Ok, I must have been transported to a parallel universe. Now where did I put that DVD?
— David A. Loving (@DavidlovingA) October 21, 2020
I'm really sad at @Apple that they cancelled It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown for other TV programs. To see It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, you have to join @AppleTV. I don't have Apple TV! This is my favorite Halloween movie ever. Thank god I have it on DVD. pic.twitter.com/DmJ3zCsU4g
— MaxtheBlackBear (@MaxtheBlackBear) October 21, 2020
There’s Some Good News
Although the movement of the Charlie Brown holiday specials to Apple TV+ has outraged many fans, there is some good news.
This new deal means new holiday specials.
Apple TV+ is reuniting the Peanuts gang to produce holiday episodes for New Years Eve, Earth Day, and Mother’s Day.
Does a Mother’s Day special mean we will finally meet the parents?
But that’s not all, we will get a second season of ‘Snoopy in Space’ as well as ‘Peanuts in Space: Apollo 10.’ Apple TV+ is also planning to release ‘The Snoopy Show,’ a documentary celebrating the 70th Anniversary of the Peanuts franchise.
Will the holidays ever be the same? Will our children ever know the excitement of seeing Charlie Brown’s name pop up while scrolling through the channel guide? Was the sacrifice worth it? Are you excited for what’s to come?