Sigh ... Apple allows Charlie Brown holiday specials to air on PBS

Fast Facts About Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang

Apple TV+ has announced a partnership with PBS to air the classic Peanuts holiday specials for free in response to last month’s public outrage over the shows becoming available to mostly paid subscribers.

The arrangement basically allows anyone with a television to watch the beloved animated traditions without being obligated to sign up for the streaming service, according to TV Insider.

»PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Good grief! Charlie Brown holiday specials move to streaming TV

The nostalgic cartoon films, including “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” had appeared on ABC for two decades before Apple purchased the rights to the programs in 2018 and acquired the rights to air them this year.

Created by late cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, the Peanuts TV specials are considered a national treasure that span generations due to Schulz’s innocent portrayal of American youth with relatable characters such as Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy and Peppermint Patty.

The family programs first aired on CBS in 1965 and remained there until ABC won the rights to them in 2000, according to Vulture.

Last month, Apple announced it was moving the features exclusively to its platform throughout the upcoming holidays along with several new specials that were in development.

At the time, the streaming service said it still planned to air the popular specials for free for non-subscribers but only during limited time windows. And while an Apple TV device wasn’t necessary to see the specials, fans would have at least needed something such as an Amazon Fire Stick or Roku TV to be able to watch them.

Heeding the public backlash of a national television audience, Apple announced the changes this week, although the viewing times on public broadcasting are just as, if not more, limited as the streaming service schedule.

The Thanksgiving special will air at 7:30 p.m. Sunday on PBS and PBS Kids; and the Christmas special airs at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 13 on the same channels.

The Thanksgiving special began streaming to subscribers Wednesday, but anyone can watch for free during the Thanksgiving holiday from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27.

The only special that will not air for free during the actual holiday is the Christmas special, which will start streaming for paid subscribers Dec. 4, but everyone else can stream it free from Dec. 11 to Dec. 13.

Some voices on social media noted last month that many households do not have access to streaming services.

“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,” one Twitter user wrote, according to NBC News. “The Peanuts specials are one of the very FEW things that brings US together.”

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