Thanksgiving and Christmas will look vastly different for millions of Americans this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. But PBS announced on Wednesday that at least one tradition will remain intact: The Charlie Brown holiday specials airing on television.
The annual holiday tradition wasin October, when Apple TV+ made a deal with Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to be the sole home of the Peanuts' holiday specials.
But PBS said Wednesday that while it's too late for "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," the two other holiday specials — "Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" — will also air ad-free on PBS and PBS Kids on November 22 and December 13, respectively, at 7:30 p.m. local time/6:30 p.m. CT.
The episodes will also be available for ad-free, HD streaming on Apple TV+. "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" will be available to stream starting November 18, with free streaming available from November 25 through November 27. "A Charlie Brown Christmas" will be available starting December 4, with free streaming from December 11 through December 13, PBS announced.
This year marked the first time in decades that "The Great Pumpkin" holiday special did not air on TV. Upon last month's news that the Peanuts characters would be exclusively on Apple TV+, hundreds of thousands of people signed a petition to bring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, and the rest of the gang back to the national stage.
The Change.org petition compared the move to one that Charlie Brown himself knows all too well.
"To our shock and dismay, last night it was announced that Apple had swiped the football from us and claimed the specials for their Apple TV platform, leaving us devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch," petitioner Michael Nebbia wrote. "...The time for saying 'Good Grief' is over."
Upon the news of the shows making a one-time return to cable, Nebbia said "Our fight shall continue no matter what because these specials are iconic and no amount of corporate greed will stop us!"