Charlie Brown is coming back to television with new content, thanks to Apple and its upcoming streaming service.
The tech giant reportedly won a competitive bidding war for the rights to create new Peanuts content.
Apple has been announcing a strong roster of upcoming new shows and talent that will reportedly start rolling out in 2019. The new streaming service completed a deal with DHX Media to create shows, specials and short films featured the iconic Charles M. Schulz characters such as Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang.
DHX, a Canadian-based kids programming giant that acquired a stake in the Peanuts franchise in 2017, will produce the upcoming content. As part of the partnership, the production company will produce original short-form (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) content that will be exclusive to Apple and feature astronaut Snoopy, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The outlet reports programming aimed at younger audiences is becoming increasingly desirable for new original shows. Apple previously announced a content partnership with Sesame Workshop for a new slate of content.
Peanuts continues to be a brand not just appealing to children. Annual holiday specials — It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas, specifically — continue to draw solid ratings when they air annually on ABC, both among total viewers and in the demo ratings.
CBS first premiered the specials in the '60s and '70s and aired them subsequently annually until the network lost the rights to the specials in 2000. Since then, the shows have been airing on ABC.
The latest TV iteration of Charlie Browns and friends' adventures, an international series simply entitled Peanuts, aired new episodes up until 2016.
Peanuts characters also appeared in a new film in theaters in 2015, with the animation style updated, and it grossed $130 million in the United Stated and a total of $246 million worldwide, THR reports.1comments
Charles M. Schulz introduced the Peanuts characters in 1950. Nearly 70 years later, it remains among the most sought after intellectual properties in children's programming.
Apple's upcoming original slate also includes an M. Night Shyamalan series starring Lauren Ambrose; a sci-fi drama starring Jason Momoa; a morning news drama starring Steve Carrell, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Aniston; a J.J. Abrams musical dramedy series featuring songs from Sara Bareilles; a show from The Big Sick's Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon and many others.