how to watch its the great pumpkin charlie brown
Source: Apple TV+

'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' Won't Air on TV This Year


Oct. 20 2020, Updated 6:33 p.m. ET

There are so many traditions that families have when the holidays roll around. When the weather starts changing and we move from summer to fall, we start thinking about Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the gift giving holidays in December.

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Often these are filled with activities we do every year that help mark the occasion and some TV shows and specials are key in this fun — but not all years are the same. Families are now asking how to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown since it's not going to air on TV for the first time in a really, really long time. Here's what you need to know.

How can you watch 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' in 2020?

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first aired on television back in 1966. Since then, it's become a Halloween classic and one that the family tends to watch together to ring in the fall and scary season. Generations of kids have grown up watching this special on television.

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charlie brown halloween
Source: Apple TV+

The show features the Peanut gang as they celebrate Halloween. Linus hopes that this is going to be the year where he's finally going to be visited by The Great Pumpkin. Charlie Brown gets invited to a Halloween party and the 25-minute mini-movie features all the "tricks and treats" the group gets into.

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But just like the year 2020 has already been different in so many ways, it's happening again with this beloved cartoon special. The Peanuts special is not going to air on TV like it has every year since 1966. For anyone who wants to watch it, and they don't have a copy of their own at home, there's one saving grace: We can watch it — but it's not on traditional cable TV channels.

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Historically, the special has aired on traditional cable for years. First, it was aired on CBS before it was snatched and moved to ABC in 2000 — and that's been its home for the past 20 years, until now.

Vulture reports, "the classic Peanuts specials, which have aired on broadcast TV for decades, will soon have an exclusive streaming home on Apple’s subscription-based TV platform."

Yep, in order to watch the Halloween special, you'll need to get yourself an Apple TV+ account. According to the details around this new move, the platform will allow It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to be viewed outside the paywall for a very short time. The special can be viewed on Apple TV+, free-of-charge, from Oct. 30 through Nov. 1, allowing anyone, even viewers without an Apple TV+ account or device, to watch.

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If you want to watch 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' or 'A Charlie Brown Christmas,' they won't be on TV either.

The publication reports that the Halloween special for Charlie Brown isn't the only one that's moving off traditional cable TV. For anyone looking to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or A Charlie Brown Christmas, both of those are moving off cable television and heading to Apple TV+ as well. 

The Peanuts' Thanksgiving special will hit the platform on Nov. 18 and will stream for free from Nov. 25 through Nov. 27. A Charlie Brown Christmas is heading to Apple TV+ on Dec. 4, with a free viewing window from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13.

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how to watch charlie brown christmas thanksgiving
Source: Apple TV+

There may be some new Charlie Brown and Peanut specials coming soon, too.

Vulture reported that Apple said its teaming up with WildBrain, Lee Mendelson Film Productions, and Peanuts Worldwide to produce some new holiday specials. For now, there is planned to be New Year's Eve special, one for Earth Day, and one to celebrate Mother's Day. 

There have been no details on if those new specials would air on ABC as the others had in the past, but we're going to guess this move to Apple TV+ is going to be the same for all the newer ones, too.

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