End Of An Era: It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown Won't Be On TV At All This Year, Only Streaming

Lucy studies an angry Charlie Brown's head at a Halloween party in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.
(Image credit: United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

2020 marked the beginning of the end for Charlie Brown holiday specials on linear TV. Thanks to its parent company's mega-deal with Apple TV+, Peanuts content past and present became a streaming enterprise that has not only maintained the classics, but has also generated new specials for the 2022 TV schedule and beyond. Now, the end of that era has truly arrived, as It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown won’t be airing on TV proper at all this season.

Linus and Charlie talking in the pumpkin patch in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

(Image credit: United Features Syndicate, Inc.)

The Great Pumpkin Is An Apple TV+ Exclusive, Charlie Brown

The news that Peanuts is losing its most recent TV home came from PBS Kids itself, in response to a fan making a playful inquiry about when the 1966 Halloween classic would be airing. With a heartbreaking, but still sweet, tweet update, here’s what the youth-skewing channel had to say:

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Following the big Apple TV+ deal, things have worked a bit differently for It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, as well as for its Thanksgiving and Christmas themed siblings. Instead of airing on its final-for-now network home at ABC, where things got a bit Scandal-ous some years back, the specials were split between streaming anytime on Apple's platform, and one-off airings on PBS and PBS Kids. But that's clearly not the case anymore.

Thankfully, Apple TV+ is continuing to give non-subscribers viewing windows where anyone can enjoy It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, as well as the rest of the iconic holiday trio, without having to shell out extra money. That might not stop parents from petitioning the Peanuts gang’s returning to linear television, but it’s at least a stopgap to help families decide whether to buy a hard copy on DVD, or to potentially subscribe to Apple’s platform. The ways we watch A Charlie Brown Christmas may have changed, but at least you won’t necessarily need a new streaming service to enjoy these holiday staples.

Lucy stands with a worried expression while Snoopy holds an apple in his mouth in It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

(Image credit: United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

When You Can Stream The Charlie Brown Holiday Specials For Free

As is now the yearly tradition, Apple TV+ will offer limited windows where fans can stream Peanuts holiday specials at no cost. All you’ll need is an Apple ID and access to the easily downloadable Apple TV+ app, and It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will be at your sheet-covered fingertips when the time is (f)right. Provided below are the dates scheduled for free access, courtesy of Apple (opens in new tab):

  • It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - 10/28 - 10/31
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving -  11/23 - 11/27
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas - 12/22 - 12/25

The game is changing for Charlie Brown fans and their enjoyment of the holiday TV staples. Viewers looking for tricks or treats will need to keep their eyes on the calendar, as it’ll be Halloween before you know it. Does anyone out there still pull off Peanuts costumes when roaming around for candy on Halloween night?

While you won’t technically need an Apple TV+ subscription to watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, it’s a good service to have if you’re a Peanuts fan. In addition to the holiday specials, you’ll also be able to watch tons of the streamer's originals — such as the awards-friendly sci-fi drama Severance — as well as the animated series Snoopy in Space and specials such as Lucy’s School

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.