Fans were horrified to learn that the Peanuts Halloween special, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, will not be airing on broadcast TV this year as usual. On Monday the rights holders to the Peanuts brand announced that the holiday specials would be streaming exclusively on Apple TV+ instead, as a part of their growing partnership with Apple. This also includes A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is an autumn staple for many people, usually airing on network TV throughout the month of October. They will still be able to catch it this year, but many fans do not care for this aggressive push to adopt yet another subscription service. They flooded social media with angry messages, many saying that they will never join Apple TV+ out of spite. Others were more optimistic, pointing out that Apple TV+ will show the special for free, even to non-subscribers from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.
"It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is now streaming exclusively on Apple TV+. Watch it for free from October 30 to November 1 and get ready for more Peanuts specials this holiday season. https://t.co/Ue6e351CTq #PeanutsHalloween #GreatPumpkin pic.twitter.com/Tn0n3UKads— PEANUTS (@Snoopy) October 19, 2020
Apple TV+ secured a lucrative deal with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to become the new home for Snoopy, Charlie Brown and their friends. This started with a new original series called Snoopy in Space, released last year, but how now extended to previous content. Another new series, The Snoopy Show, is expected next year.
This is a major acquisition for Apple TV+ as it tries to compete with other streaming services that have stronger associations with recognizable intellectual properties. So far, the company has competed with its low subscription price of $4.99 per month. As it gains more assets like the Peanuts, it may become a strong contender against entities like Disney+, HBO Max and Netflix.
First, fans will have to mourn the loss of the Peanuts on the platforms where they are used to seeing them. Here is a look at how social media responded to the departure of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown from network TV.
Why Not Both?
So mad. why must they keep messing with those with cable still. Not everyone wants or has streaming. I hope other shows/specials (non charlie that is) dont do the same. Why can't it be on both?— Gina (@bookgirl8807) October 20, 2020
Many cable users were put off by this development because it felt like major pressure to change from their familiar platform to an all-streaming media diet. They asked why old favorites like the Charlie Brown specials couldn't co-exist on more than one platform at once.prevnext
History of Change
I was still getting used to them moving from CBS to ABC 20 years ago so I'll probably never get used to this https://t.co/ve2vnohhPY— Ted Nesi (@TedNesi) October 20, 2020
most interesting thing about a lot of these posts, fans think not airing on ABC is "breaking tradition"... they don't seem to realize that it aired on CBS until 2000; um, 20 years is not necessarily a long-standing "tradition".— Craig Herman (@craigphilly1) October 19, 2020
This is not the first time the Peanuts have switched platforms, as some users pointed out. However, given the ripple effects of simple network changes, some predicted that a jump to streaming might simply take the specials off their radar altogether.prevnext
'For the People'
Everyone should be upset about this and refuse to stream it on AppleTV+ until the specials are given back to the people. Not everything should be a platform exclusive— 「David.」 (@ddupreejr) October 20, 2020
Considering the age and legacy of the Peanuts franchise, many fans thought it was simply greedy for them to be used to generate profit at this point. By some standards, Peanuts could have entered the public domain by now, and using 50+ year old cartoons to drive subscribers to a new platform was a bad look in that context.prevnext
thats nice?— Montork (@Montork1) October 20, 2020
i lit dont care?
that means i have to watch them on phone, tablet or on my old pc instead of downstairs on tv with my fucking family.
AT THAT POINT IF IM ON A COMPUTER TO DO IT I MIGHT AS WELL PIRATE IT???
wholly fuck this sucks
Hearing that the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown will not be aired on anything but Apple TV makes my heart super sad. I am glad I have it on dvd. Kids will miss out on one of the greatest Halloween specials ever.— Marcus Allen, M Ed. (@MarcusA29532311) October 19, 2020
Its unhealthy deals like these are the reason why people pirate media in general https://t.co/yPRFDV8nsl— SucyRolls (@RollsSucy) October 20, 2020
For many users, moving from cable to streaming meant a move from the TV to the computer, which takes the Peanuts experience from a family setting to a personal one. Some even went so far as to say they "might as well pirate" the specials if they're going that route. Others said they would rather own the specials on DVD so as not to live by the whims of streaming corporations.prevnext
It’s poorly worded but I believe it is free for everyone in that three day window. I would still rather be on network TV but you don’t need to be an Apple TV subscriber to watch it for those 3 days. Apple TV subscribers can watch it now. I’m still upset but no longer furious.— Sarah (@SarahMaybeNot) October 19, 2020
Many users tried to reassure each other by pointing out that Apple TV+ will show these specials for free at certain points during the holiday season. Still, critics argued back that the end result was still an overt attempt to draw users into another monthly bill.prevnext
Why Just One?
Some also expressed concern about why just one streaming service got to host Charlie Brown, instead of sharing the rights to reach a wider audience. Again, this raised a conversation about "broken" intellectual property rights laws and piracy.prevnext
The Spirit of the Season
“There are three things I've learned never to discuss with people: religion, politics, and the Great Pumpkin." - Linus https://t.co/5vppTXgQvV— Maria Giovannoni (@smokingpasta) October 20, 2020
Finally, many angry Peanuts fans voiced their outrage in the voices of the characters themselves, referencing the Halloween special as an argument that this platform exclusivity goes against what Linus, Charlie Brown and Snoopy stand for.
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown is streaming now on Apple TV+. It will be available for free from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1.prev