Charlie Brown specials to air on TV, after all, in PBS deal

Apple teamed up with PBS for ad-free broadcasts of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (on Nov. 22) and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (on Dec. 13).

The animated classic "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" holiday special. –Apple via AP

NEW YORK (AP) — The “Great Pumpkin” never showed on broadcast television this year, but after a deal with PBS, the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will return to the air.

Last month, Apple TV+ became the new home to the beloved Peanuts holiday specials. That sparked an outcry from viewers who were accustomed to annually tuning in on network TV. Apple offered each special to stream for free for a handful of days, but that didn’t stop online petitions from gathering hundreds of thousands of signatures.

On Wednesday, Apple bowed to the backlash, announcing it had teamed up with PBS for ad-free broadcasts of “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” (on Nov. 22) and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (on Dec. 13).

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Both specials will also be available for free during three-day windows on Apple TV+ (Nov. 25-27 for “Thanksgiving” and Dec. 11-13 for “Christmas.”) For subscribers, the specials will be available beginning Nov. 18 and Dec. 4, respectively.

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