Have a good grief – classic peanuts specials are leaving the TV and switching to Apple TV + in time for the holidays.
A contract between Apple TV + and media company WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions makes the subscription streaming service the home of classics like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. These were previously broadcast on the radio and generated considerable audience ratings.
The Peanuts gang’s Halloween special will be streamed on the platform starting today and will be available free of charge to non-subscribers from October 30th to November 1st. The other vacation-themed specials will air for free in the coming months with A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on November 18 and November 25-27. A Charlie Brown Christmas party will debut on the Streamer on December 4th and be available for free to non-subscribers from December 11th to 13th.
The partnership, which is an extension of Apple TV + ‘s previous preoccupation with Peanuts programming, means that new original series and specials will hit the market in the future, including New Years Eve, Earth Day, Mother’s Day and Back-to- Schooldays. The streamer ordered a second season of Snoopy in Space, which debuted when Apple TV + launched in November 2019 and was nominated for Daytime Emmys. The streamer is also working on The Snoopy Show and a documentary about the Peanuts Gang.
Apple TV + ‘s takeover of the Peanuts vacation specials, which Vulture says is an exclusive offer, is a huge coup for the streaming service, given that broadcast TV had been broadcasting the specials with great success for decades.
ABC has had the broadcast rights for the specials for 20 years. Last year, Charlie Brown drew 5 million viewers and a 1.2 demo rating on It’s the Great Pumpkin broadcast. It’s quite an achievement, especially for an older title. Previously, CBS held the broadcast rights.
The specials mark the second license agreement for Apple TV +, which otherwise only focused on original series. In May, Apple TV + made the past seasons of HBO’s 80s Muppet series Fraggle Rock available to the streamer under a contract to restart the series.