Peanuts TV specials will not air on ABC this year but Apple is making them free for a limited time — here’s how to watch ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’

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Peanuts TV specials will not air on ABC this year but Apple is making them free for a limited time — here's how to watch 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'

  • Apple acquired the rights to air classic Peanuts holiday specials this year.
  • The deal means this will be the first time they won’t air on network TV since 1965.
  • Nonsubscribers can watch each special free during a brief window around the holidays.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For many families, Peanuts holiday specials are key markers of the season, but don’t expect to turn on the TV and watch them this year. After 20 years with ABC, the rights to “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” were acquired by Apple TV Plus.

Each special will be available to Apple TV subscribers throughout the holidays, but anyone can watch free at certain times. The Halloween classic “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown” will be available to stream free over Halloween weekend, from October 30 to November 1.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.”

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images


“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is set to start streaming for subscribers on November 18, with anyone able to watch free from November 25 to November 27, over the Thanksgiving holiday.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

“A Charlie Brown Christmas.”

Photo by Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images


Finally, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” is set to start streaming for subscribers on December 4. Nonsubscribers should mark their calendars, because this is the only special that does not air during the actual holiday; it is scheduled to be free from December 11 to December 13.

According to Vulture, this will be the first year since 1965 in which Peanuts specials haven’t aired free on broadcast TV. That year, the Christmas special aired on CBS, which was its home until ABC won the rights in 2000. Vulture also reported that Apple was working on producing several new Peanuts specials for Mother’s Day, Earth Day, and New Year’s Eve. Apple TV’s website also shows “The Snoopy Show” debuting in 2021.

Peanuts fans won’t need an Apple device to catch the specials this year. Apple TV is available through Amazon Fire devices as well as Samsung, LG, and Roku TVs. Apple TV offers a one-week free trial and then costs $5 a month.

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