Another holiday has come and gone without Charlie Brown and the Peanuts' special airing on network TV. Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! did not air on conventional TV this year, as it sometimes did in years past. Instead, the special is available to stream on Apple TV+.
Apple secured the rights to all the Peanuts holiday specials, meaning that fans who wanted to watch the New Year's Eve special to close out 2020 need to sign up for the streaming service. This devastated many fans over the last few months when it came to It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown! on Halloween, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving or A Charlie Brown Christmas. While Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! is one of the lesser-known specials, it still irked some fans to find that it was only available to stream, not on TV as usual.
Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! finds the titular hero stuck writing a book report about Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace when he would rather be going to Peppermint Patty's New Year's Eve party with everyone else. Charlie Brown rushes to finish his homework, hoping to have time to get to the bash and dance with a certain Little Red-Haired Girl. This special was made in 1986, decades after some of the most iconic Peanuts specials from the 1960s.
Apple announced in October that the Peanuts specials would now be hosted exclusively on Apple TV+ — the company's premium streaming service available for $4.99 per month. The service comes with a seven-day free trial, and at the time, Apple made some holiday specials available for free around the time of each of the appropriate holidays. However, this was not the case with Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!
Apple is not just licensing the existing Peanuts specials, however, but producing new ones as well. The company is working with WildBrain animation studios to create a whole host of brand new specials for occasions like Mother's Day, Earth Day and the first day of school. Apple is reportedly even making a new New Year's Eve special, possibly replacing this one.
The company is also utilizing the Peanuts for a new animated series called The Snoopy Show, and joining the existing hit Snoopy in Space. All in all, this is a great time for Peanuts fans who are hungry for new content.
Casual viewers may not even realize how many TV specials already exist in this franchise. TV networks have typically taken turns hosting the Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials each year, but there are already Peanuts specials for Easter, Valentine's Day, Arbor Day, anniversaries and birthdays. Others are related to non-holiday events like sports, school and festivals, all starring Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the gang. Explore the full Peanuts library now on Apple TV+.