- 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.
- A petition to bring the specials back to network TV has over 100,000 signatures.
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For many families, Peanuts holiday specials are seasonal hallmarks but don’t expect to turn on the TV and watch them this year.
After 20 years with ABC, Apple acquired the rights to “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas”.
According to Vulture, this will be the first year since the first special debuted in 1965 that the Peanuts specials won’t air on broadcast TV. That year, the Christmas special aired on CBS, which was its home until ABC won the rights in 2000.
Instead, Apple is offering the specials only via its streaming service, Apple TV Plus. Fans do not seem to be happy about the change.
Since the acquisition was announced last week, a Change.org petition titled “Bring the Peanuts specials back to broadcast TV!” has already gained more than 107,000 signatures.
The petition, first noticed by Mac Rumours, says “The time for saying ‘Good Grief’ is over.” Signers stated that Apple “swiped the football from us” by streaming the specials on AppleTV. The petition includes the phrase “#AppleHatesTradition.”
Apple is making each special available to stream for free at certain times. For example, 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.
When the official Peanuts account tweeted on October 19 to share how to watch the special this Halloween, hundreds of angry tweets followed.
“Charles Schulz would be ashamed of you!” one reply reads.
The point of having them on network TV is the country coming together and watching at the same time. That’s being taken from us.
The Peanuts specials are one of the very FEW things that brings US together.
— Secola Edwards (@SecolaEdwards) October 20, 2020
Yeah that's a terrible idea not putting it on television. I watch it every year, along with the other holiday specials. Is it not bad enough the Thanksgiving Day parade is going to be virtual?
— Alicia (@_marchdays) October 19, 2020
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Find more information about how to watch Peanuts specials for free here.