Is ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ on TV in 2020? Here’s When You Can Watch It for Free on Apple TV+ and PBS

Watching Peanuts holiday specials is a yearly tradition for many, but it’s one that’s going to look a little bit different in 2020. This year, for the first time in years, Charlie Brown and the gang won’t air on ABC. Instead, the much-loved specials — including It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas — will be available to stream on Apple TV+. The Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will also air on PBS.

‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ will stream for free beginning Nov. 25 

Charlie Brown and Peppermint Patty
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images)

In a move that came as a surprise to many, Apple announced on Oct. 19 that it had acquired the three main Peanuts holiday specials. Rather than airing on ABC as they have in recent years, the specials will be available on the company’s streaming platform, which costs $4.99 per month. 

Fortunately, there is some good news for fans who are disappointed about having to subscribe to another streaming service to watch the iconic cartoons. Apple is making all three classic specials available to stream for free for a limited time. 

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will debut on Apple TV+ on Nov. 18. But beginning Nov. 25, you can stream the 30-minute short, which first aired in 1973, for free. The special will be available at no cost through Nov. 27. You’ll just have to download the Apple TV+ app to watch or visit the Apple TV website. 

‘A Charlie Brown Christmas’ will also stream for free 

Charlie Brown and Linus in A Charlie Brown Christmas
A Charlie Brown Christmas | Walt Disney Television via Getty Images Photo Archives/Walt Disney Television via Getty Images

The 1965 special A Charlie Brown Christmas will be available on Apple TV+ beginning Dec. 4. It will stream for free from Dec. 11 through Dec. 13. 

In addition to the classic special, Apple plans to roll out fresh Peanuts content, including a second season of Snoopy in Space. New specials are also in the works that will focus on Mother’s Day, Earth Day, New Year’s Eve, and going back to school.

‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ will also air on PBS

Initially, it looked like the Peanuts specials would only be available to stream this year. But on Nov. 18, PBS announced that it had teamed up with Apple to make sure the specials aired on television as well.

The ad-free broadcast of A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will happen on Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. CT on PBS and PBS KIDS. (Check your local listings.) A Charlie Brown Christmas will air Dec. 13 at 7:30 p.m./6:30 p.m. CT. (Check your local listings.)

Some fans wanted the Peanuts specials back on TV


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Unsurprisingly, not everyone was thrilled that the Peanuts specials were moving to Apple TV+. One person even started a petition that aimed to bring them back to broadcast TV. The outraged fan wrote:

To our shock and dismay, last night it was announced that Apple had swiped the football from us and claimed the specials for their Apple TV platform, leaving us devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch … Win or lose, we are telling Apple and Wildbrain Studios that we will not fall for their corporate greed. But our goal is to get our Peanuts back on television and bring back the tradition!

As of Oct. 30, more than 215,000 people had signed the petition. 

This article was originally published Nov. 8 and has been updated.

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