TV & Showbiz

You Won’t Find ‘the Great Pumpkin’ on Network TV This Year!


If the classic cartoon, ‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ is part of your family tradition, get ready for a shock.

What is it with 2020, anyway? The year that won’t stop messing with us now targeted even the Great Pumpkin.

For many of us of a certain age, we grew up watching the classic Peanuts holiday special each year. “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” premiered on CBS way back in 1966, a few years before I premiered.

In 2001, the special moved to ABC.

But in 2020, you won’t find it on either network.

The half-hour special features Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Snoopy, Woodstock and the rest of the Peanuts gang. Linus is determined to stay up late to witness the arrival of the supernatural figure. Despite being mocked, Linus believes old GP rises from the pumpkin patch on Halloween to bring toys to sincere children who believe. (Picture Santa Claus two months early.)

Early in the movie, he’s seen writing a letter to the figure, hoping to point out his own sincerity.

I won’t spoil the ending. Of course, if you’re reading this far, you’re probably interested enough in the subject that you grew up with it as I did.

Peanuts gets a new deal

Forget CBS or ABC this year. To watch the gang this year, you’ll have to turn to AppleTV+.

The service worked out a deal to acquire the rights. So after 54 years of broadcast TV, it moves to streaming TV.

Do you subscribe to AppleTV+? I don’t, and I’m not going to subscribe to another streaming service no matter how much I like the show.

But in this case, we’re in luck, as long as we have the ability to stream the service at all. AppleTV+ plans to offer the show free for a few days around Halloween. You won’t have to subscribe to watch the holiday favorite.

If you are a subscriber, you can watch it now. If you aren’t, you’ll be able to watch it between Oct. 30 and Nov. 1. The streaming service will also run A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas in a similar arrangement for subscribers and non-subscribers.

I hate to see shows move off traditional TV altogether.

But I think this is the way of the future. As more streaming services pop up, each will want to grab shows people want to watch. That means you’ll have to at least consider adding more subscriptions to your budget to watch them.

Fortunately, AppleTV+ is showing some holiday spirit with the free offerings. We can only hope that generosity continues.

Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.