Apple TV+ sparked an outcry last month with its announcement that it would become the exclusive home to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Christmas and other Peanuts holiday specials, ending decades of them being available for free on broadcast TV. The decision proved controversial even though Apple said it would make the specials available for free on its app for a limited time. Apple has decided to rectify the controversy by partnering with PBS to return the specials to broadcast television. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will be shown on PBS stations on Nov. 22, while A Charlie Brown Christmas is scheduled for Dec. 13. That's in addition to Apple streaming the two shows free for non-subscribers for a short time: Nov. 27 for Thanksgiving and Dec. 11-13 for Christmas. Last month, Vulture's Jen Chaney explained why it's important that the Peanuts specials continue to air on broadcast TV. "The Peanuts holiday shows are a long-standing tradition," wrote Chaney. "Yes, for quite some time, you’ve been able to watch them on DVD or Blu-ray, but the fact that they would be broadcast often twice before the relevant holidays they commemorate made them available to everyone, regardless of whether they could afford a streaming subscription or a device that provides access to Apple TV+. As long as you had access to a television of any kind and a basic antenna, you and your family could watch. While it’s nice that Apple is offering some amount of complimentary access to these shows, that still isn’t enough to make them accessible to everyone. The pandemic has made what should have been clear long ago abundantly so: that some families cannot afford the same technological luxuries — and yes, that includes things as seemingly basic as high-speed internet and Wi-Fi — as everyone else. Given the financial hardships that the pandemic has wrought, even more people may be cutting back on unnecessary expenses, including digital devices and subscriptions. Watching The Great Pumpkin or A Charlie Brown Christmas is a ritual for a lot of Americans, one that parents — or at least baby-boomer, Gen-X, and some millennial parents who grew up watching them — relish sharing with their children. To take away that ritual during a year that has been filled with so much turmoil and heartbreak, when even trivial customs have felt sacred and special, just seems cruel."
TOPICS: A Charlie Brown Christmas, Apple TV+, PBS, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Christmas, Holiday Programming, Peanuts, Thanksgiving