'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown': Time, Channel and How to Watch the Halloween Special

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown airs on PBS and PBS KIDS stations Sunday, Oct. 24 at 7:30 p.m. ET/PT. To find your local PBS member stations, visit PBS.org. The beloved Peanuts special is airing on television again this year, after not airing on ABC in 2020 because Apple's Apple TV+ became the exclusive home for all previous specials and new content starring Charles M. Schulz's characters. Apple did reach a deal with PBS to air the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials in 2020, but the deal was not reached in time to air the Halloween episode.

Unlike many other PBS and PBS KIDS programs, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will not be available to stream at PBS.org or on the PBS App. This is because Apple TV+ holds the exclusive streaming rights. Since Great Pumpkin is airing on PBS, Apple TV+ is not making the special available for free, so you have to have a subscription to the service in order to legally stream it. Since PBS stations are widely available through cable or satellite providers, as well as internet TV platforms, Apple TV+ didn't feel the need to make it available to non-subscribers.

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first aired on CBS on Oct. 27, 1966. It became an annual tradition on the eye network until 2000, when ABC became the home of Peanuts specials. ABC continued airing it until 2019. In October 2020, Apple TV+ announced a deal with Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelsohn Film Productions to get access to the Peanuts library and to produce new Peanuts shows. Apple allowed non-subscribers to still see It's a Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for free for a short period of time around their respective holidays. In November 2020, Apple and PBS reached an agreement so Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas would air so families could watch them without needing Internet access.

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It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown finds Linus attempting to convince the rest of the Peanuts gang that there is a Great Pumpkin who will give them gifts if he spends Halloween night in a pumpkin patch. Most of his friends do not believe him, and they go trick-or-treating instead. The special also features a fun scene with Snoopy in his World War I Ace gear, trying to take down the Great Baron in his fantasies. The music was composed by Vince Guaraldi, who also composed the iconic score for A Charlie Brown Christmas. Of course, fans could also watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown year-round by picking up the Blu-ray and DVD Warner Home Video released. In October 2017, the studio also released it on 4K UHD, alongside A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas and other Peanuts specials.