The holidays are saved! Charlie Brown specials will air on PBS after all

'A Charlie Brown Christmas'
The Peanuts holiday specials will air on PBS and PBS Kids this year, in addition to Apple TV+.
(United Feature Syndicate)

It’s a Christmas miracle, Charlie Brown! The lovable loser, the Peanuts gang and their iconic holiday specials will be back — albeit briefly — on broadcast television this year after all.

In a welcome reversal, Apple TV+ has struck a deal with PBS to air “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” The beloved 1960s specials will air ad-free on PBS and PBS Kids on Nov. 22 and Dec. 13, respectively, at 7:30 p.m. local time, reps for Apple TV+ said Wednesday.

The programs had previously migrated from network television and exclusively to the streaming platform, destroying quite a few holiday traditions and annual telecasts along the way. Sounds like someone took the lesson of overwhelming materialism from the Christmas special to heart.

For the first time ever, the beloved Charlie Brown holiday specials will not air on network TV this year. Here’s where you’ll find them instead.

Oct. 21, 2020


As previously announced, the classic animated specials will be available on demand on Apple TV+, where “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” began streaming on Wednesday. The special will be available for free on the platform from Nov. 25 through Nov. 27.

“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” the 1965 special, will begin streaming on Apple TV+ on Dec. 4. It will be available for free from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.

Disappointment abounded in October when Apple TV+ said that the comic strip-inspired films would stream exclusively on the platform rather than on ABC and other networks this year.

When they finished making “A Charlie Brown Christmas” 50 years ago, the producers sat back and looked at their work.

Nov. 26, 2015

The arrangement was part of Apple TV+’s team-up with Wildbrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions. The deal made 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, several of which have been renewed.

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.