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Peanuts holiday specials won't air on TV for 1st time in decades

Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang are heading to Apple TV+, but there will still be a chance to watch your favorite holiday specials for free.

The search for the "Great Pumpkin" will be happening on Apple TV+ from now on. 

Apple TV+ announced Monday that it has secured the exclusive rights for all things "Peanuts" as part of a deal with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions. 

As part of the new partnership, the classic Charlie Brown holiday specials won't air on ABC or any other broadcast TV network this year. "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" premiered on CBS in 1966, then moved to ABC in 2001, where it's aired every year since. 

Now before you say "Good grief!" about this development, Apple has confirmed that fans this year will be able to watch “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” for free for a couple of days on Apple TV+.   

Apple says it's also creating more brand-new holiday specials with the "Peanuts" gang celebrating Mother's Day, Earth Day, New Year's Eve and a back-to-school special. 

 “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” debuted Oct. 19 on Apple TV+. The Halloween special will air for free on the streaming service from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will be released on Nov. 18, and will be available for free from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27. “A Charlie Brown Christmas" will stream exclusively on Apple TV+ starting on Dec. 4, and will be available for free from Dec. 11 until Dec. 13. 

The iconic animated series, created by Charles Schulz, first began as a strip comic called Li’l Folks published back in 1947. It was soon after renamed "Peanuts" in 1950 and featured a cast of children, with the most prominent and introspective of them named Charlie Brown. His dog Snoopy became just as popular. 

When Schulz died in 2000, the "Peanuts" comic was running in over 2,500 newspapers in 75 countries. The Peanuts Christmas special was initially expected to be a flop when it aired on television, premiering on Dec. 9, 1965. Instead it became the one of the longest-running holiday specials of all time. 

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