'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' Returning to TV

Linus will have another chance to convince everyone that the Great Pumpkin exists on television this year. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will be back on the small screen thanks to a deal Apple and PBS struck last week. The special did not air on television for the first time in over five decades last year, causing an outcry that inspired Apple to find a broadcast partner for the Peanuts specials.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will air on local PBS and PBS KIDS stations on Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. PBS channels are available through traditional television providers and Internet TV platforms. Unlike other PBS programming, it will not be available on local PBS livestreams at PBS.org or the PBS App.

The half-hour special originally aired on Oct. 27, 1966 on CBS, which continued airing it every year during the Halloween season until 2000. In 2001, It's the Great Pumpkin shifted to ABC, which aired it until 2019. In October 2020, Apple's Apple TV+ streaming platform struck a deal with Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to be the exclusive home for all Peanuts specials and new Peanuts content. To assure parents they could still watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown with their children without needing to subscribe to a new streaming platform, Apple made the special available for free from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, 2020. Apple also made A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving available for free from Nov. 25 to Nov. 27. Apple TV+ is also home to the original animated shows Snoopy in Space and The Snoopy Show.

Of course, some fans were still upset that they had to jump through any hoops to see the specials again. So in November 2020, Apple announced a partnership with PBS to air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas. This year, Apple and PBS teamed up again for the beloved Halloween special.

In It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, Linus is convinced the Great Pumpkin will bring him presents, so he stays in a pumpkin patch during Halloween night while the other children go out trick-or-treating. The special also features a memorably animated sequence with Snoopy in his World War I flying costume, getting into an imaginary battle with the Red Baron. The special was directed by Bill Melendez and written by Peanuts creator Charles M. Schulz.