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Why you won’t see the Charlie Brown TV specials in the usual places this year

A scene from "A Charlie Brown Christmas."
(1965 United Feature Syndicate)

It’s the Great Apple contract, Charlie Brown.

Wah wah woh wah wah.

The Peanuts gang and their annual holiday specials have left broadcast television for their new home, Apple TV+. Titles including “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” will stream exclusively on the platform rather than on ABC and other networks this year.

But that doesn’t mean Peanuts fans will completely miss out on their traditional viewing of the beloved 1960s programs.

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The Halloween special is already available but will be streamed for free on Apple TV+ from Oct. 30 until Nov. 1. Likewise, the Thanksgiving special will stream for Apple TV+ subscribers beginning Nov. 18 but will be offered for free Nov. 25-27.

Same goes for the iconic 1965 Christmas special, which will stream exclusively on Apple TV+ on Dec. 4. Its limited window for free viewing will run a bit earlier than Christmas, Dec. 11-13.

The new arrangement is part of Apple TV+'s team-up with Wildbrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions. The deal makes the streaming service the exclusive home for classic Peanuts content, as well as new original series and specials based on Charles M. Schulz’s cartoon characters.

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In 2018, Apple struck a deal with DHX, the children’s content and brands company that partly owns the comic-strip characters and their related intellectual property.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company’s subscription streaming service, which launched last October, has renewed its Daytime Emmy-nominated “Snoopy in Space” for a second season, with plans to create new specials marking Mother’s Day, Earth Day, New Year’s Eve and back-to-school.

Other productions include “The Snoopy Show,” a “Peanuts” 70th-anniversary documentary film from Imagine Documentaries and WildBrain, and “Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10.”


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