A beloved television tradition returns for the holidays this year, but you won’t be able to watch like you have in the past.
Three Charlie Brown specials – “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – will only air on Apple TV+ after previously appearing on both the streaming service and PBS in 2021.
After airing on the network for only one year, PBS says that they no longer hold the rights to the specials.
“Regretfully, PBS does not have the rights to distribute the Peanuts specials this year. We’ll all have to watch for the Great Pumpkin in a different pumpkin patch this Halloween,” said PBS in a reply tweet dated September 29.
It’s the second time that the specials will not air on broadcast television. In 2020, the specials moved exclusively to Apple TV+ after Apple acquired the rights to the Peanuts franchise in 2018. Previously, the specials aired from 1966 to 2000 on CBS and from 2001 to 2020 on ABC.
Of the original 35 Peanuts specials produced up until 1992, the Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas episodes remain the most popular and most re-aired. PBS was able to strike a deal with Apple in 2021 to air the holiday classics.
Despite no longer airing on TV, non-subscribers can stream the holiday specials through Apple TV+ for free in a limited window. The Halloween special will be free to stream from Oct. 28 through Oct. 31, the Thanksgiving special from Nov. 23 through Nov. 27, and the Christmas special from Dec. 22 through Dec. 25.