Charlie Brown 'Great Pumpkin' Special Is NOT on TV This Halloween — and You Can Thank Apple for That

In this Oct. 3, 2009 file photo, Snoopy, right, throws out the ceremonial first pitch while Charlie Brown looks on prior to the New York Mets playing the Houston Astros in a baseball game at Citi Field in New York. Japanese electronics maker Sony Corp.'s music unit is buying a stake in Peanuts Holdings, the company behind Snoopy and Charlie Brown. Sony Music Entertainment said Monday, May 14, 2018, it signed a deal with DHX Media, based in Nova Scotia, Canada, to acquire 49 percent of the 80 percent stake DHX holds in Peanuts. (AP Photo/Henny Ray Abrams, File)

 

“Good Grief,” 2020!

As if we haven’t had enough upheaval in our lives this year from the Wuhan coronavirus and what’s shaping up to be one of the most topsy-turvy presidential election seasons in our lifetimes, now there’s this insult to injury about a trusty, Halloween tradition… gathering around the old television set and watching Charlie, Snoopy, and the entire “Peanuts” gang in “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” during October. 2020 marks the 54th anniversary of the classic, holiday “treat,” which debuted on CBS’ airwaves in 1966 — or, I should properly say, it would have been the 54th anniversary.

Good Housekeeping reports that the cherished, children’s special isn’t going to be shown on TV this Halloween, and we have our friends at tech behemoth Apple to thank for it:

Although this year’s Halloween is certainly different than most, some traditions hold true, like watching Charlie and friends “tricks or treats” as a group of misshapen, holey ghosts.

It was announced on October 19 that It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown would air exclusvely [sic] on AppleTV+. While you can sign up for a free trial of AppleTV+ to watch it before Halloween, the streaming service is offering it at no cost from Oct. 30 – Nov. 1 to all viewers.

Okay, so here’s the issue I (and many old people like me) have with this “generous” offer from the brain trust at AppleTV+ … the show usually airs twice throughout the month. Not “you must give our fancy, schmancy platform a visit, be bombarded by ads for our other products and enticements to sign up for AppleTV+ — oh, and by the way, You Gotta Do It On These Three Days, Or Else.” Some gift, iPeople.

For example, in 2019, the “Great Pumpkin” aired on ABC on both Oct. 22nd and 27th. Not at the tail end of the month, like Apple insists we do.

As I hinted in the sub-headline, this isn’t even the worst part of the bad news here. Consider this an early warning for the rest of this year’s holidays — that’s right, ABC/Disney sold out our childhood pal Charlie to Apple for the other specials, too. As Cox Media Group reports, both the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials are airing exclusively on the streaming Apple platform. But, you know, they’ll let ya watch the Turkey Day show on certain days in November for free. (eye roll)

So, what’s the bottom line? I’m not saying you and your family members should make use of a search engine that doesn’t start with a “G” and end with “oogle” for a copy of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” or anything.

But I’m not not saying it.