When Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang have actually moved from broadcast television to streaming this year, their fans were not happy.
Apple TV+ bought the exclusive rights to air the beloved animated Peanuts holiday specials just in time for “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” in October. The deal meant the special aired only on the Apple TV+ streaming service this year, rather than on network TV, where it has aired for decades.
The same was going to be true for “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” but a severe backlash to that plan caused Apple to make a compromise. A week before Thanksgiving, the company struck a deal that will allow PBS to air both of those popular programs on broadcast TV.
PBS will air “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Nov. 22 and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” on Dec. 13. Since its PBS, both specials will air without commercials, which makes the whole thing even better.
If you ‘d still rather stream the shows, Apple is offering them free for anyone without an Apple TV+ subscription for a limited time. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will stream for free on the Apple TV app from Nov. 25 through Nov. 27, which will cover the Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will stream for free on the weekend of Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.
Meanwhile, Apple TV+ subscribers will have on-demand access to “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” starting Nov. 18 and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” starting Dec. 4.
The move was part of a deal Apple made with Peanuts Worldwide Snoopy Thanksgiving T-Shirt and Lee Mendleson Film Productions in 2020 that made Apple TV+ the exclusive broadcaster of all the classic Peanuts specials, as well as original Peanuts content being produced for the streaming service, like the new animated shows “Snoopy in Space” and “The Snoopy Show.”
You can stream the specials– and all Apple TV+ programming– in the Apple TV app, which is downloadable on virtually any smart TV or streaming device, including Roku and Fire TV. The service also offers a seven-day free trial for its subscription-based content and memberships at $4.99 a month.