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ABC Won't Air 'A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving' for the First Time in Nearly 20 Years — Here's Why

Joe Akins
Nov 21, 2020
03:00 A.M.

The Peanuts holiday classic, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," is leaving network television for the first time in almost twenty years and will air on Apple TV+.

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In recent times, Peanut specials have been hit with several changes during the holiday season, and another one of them, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving," is set for a significant change.

The classic television special made its television debut in 1973 on CBS and moved to ABC in 2001. It has aired on the network yearly since then but this would no longer be so.

A scene from the animated television special, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." | Photo: YouTube/Snoopy

A scene from the animated television special, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving." | Photo: YouTube/Snoopy

This is because the television classic is moving online to Apple TV+ as part of a corporate deal. It will join other Peanut classics, "It's the Great Pumpkin" and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" as part of cartoons Apple TV+ has exclusive rights to.

Many fans on social media have reacted to the change, with most of them angered by it. One person tweeted that corporate greed was ruining traditions, while a second person lamented that their holiday had been ruined.

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In a Detroit Free Press article announcing and reacting to the development, Julie Hinds emphasized that the move to Apple TV+ is another example of how the internet was chipping away at traditions.

"A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" is a recipient of an Emmy Award for Outstanding Individual Achievement – Children's Programming. It tells how Charlie Brown plans a holiday meal with his friends.

Though many fans are disappointed with "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving's" move to Apple+, non-subscribers can watch the classic for free.

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However, the dinner plan becomes a disaster after caterers Woodstock and Snoopy serve them a menu consisting of popcorn, toast, jelly beans, and pretzel sticks.

While the classic cartoon served up great memories, it also had its talking points, including one about bird cannibalism that came about in its final scene.

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In that scene, Woodstock helped Snoopy to carve a turkey before helping to devour the Thanksgiving bird. Charles Schulz, the creator of "Peanuts," insisted on including the scene, resulting in a backlash.

Some fans were displeased, causing executive producer Lee Mendelson to trim the special to twenty-two minutes, though ABC returned the edited 3 minutes when it began broadcasting the show.

Though many fans are disappointed with "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving's" move to Apple+, non-subscribers can watch the classic for free for three days from November 25-27, while subscribers can watch the classic anytime.

The famous classic's cast includes veteran child actors Todd Barbee, who voiced Charlie Brown, Stephen Shea as Linus, Robin Kohn as Lucy, Christopher DeFaria as Peppermint Patty, among others.

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