Author Topic: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television  (Read 686 times)

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Offline Superballer

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a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« on: October 20, 2020, 09:48:21 PM »
It has been announced that Apple TV, which has produced new Peanuts content in recent years, has signed an exclusivity deal to stream the vintage specials.  Thus, barring any last minute intercession by any parties with the power to make such changes, Great Pumpkin's network run will likely end at 53 years this year, and the same may hold true for A Charlie Brown Christmas in a few months.  I myself am deeply torn; I understand that television is evolving, and such is likely the future of broadcasts within the next 20 years or so, but let's face it, Great Pumpkin and CBC have by now become deeply embedded in the very fabric of American culture, and America really needs them this year more than any other thus far to give a sense of comfort.  So let us hope something can eventually be worked out that so that they can allow both streaming and traditional broadcasts for them, if not this year, then in a year or two. 
« Last Edit: October 20, 2020, 09:50:33 PM by Superballer »

Offline JayC

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2020, 10:10:21 PM »
The Great Pumpkin will be available to watch on Apple TV for free between October 30 and November 1 without having to subscribe, so at least there's that. Still though, just strange that it and I assume the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials won't be on TV this year and I assume beyond this year.

Offline SeaBreeze341

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2020, 02:06:45 AM »
It isn't a shocker that these specials are going in this direction.  It's just the times.  It is surprising, however, that the move has been made official this year, given the lack of programming.


It's a shame though, especially given the fact that this was made public with not much time before the holiday season.  Still, it is available thanks to Apple TV, and it's free.  Given all the complaints on Social Media, there may be optimism that this won't be permanent.  Not sure if anything can be done this year (don't think), but maybe next year they'll be back on the networks
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Offline Hag

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2020, 11:27:18 AM »
It's unfortunate, especially to one who has been watching the specials all my life.
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Offline Superballer

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2020, 02:17:36 PM »
It isn't a shocker that these specials are going in this direction.  It's just the times.  It is surprising, however, that the move has been made official this year, given the lack of programming.


It's a shame though, especially given the fact that this was made public with not much time before the holiday season.  Still, it is available thanks to Apple TV, and it's free.  Given all the complaints on Social Media, there may be optimism that this won't be permanent.  Not sure if anything can be done this year (don't think), but maybe next year they'll be back on the networks
 


There probably wouldn't be enough time to make any changes for this year as you've noted, but enough pressure could bring changes for next year.  From my point of view, there'd be plenty of grounds for a reasonable compromise, perhaps:  Apple keeps the rights that they probably paid a lot for and streams them for free each month that each special denotes; in turn they agree to lease them out to whichever network wants them the most for as long as traditional broadcast television does remain viable (once it no longer is, then readjust accordingly) in exchange for a fair fee, and said network, in addition to getting lauded as heroes, would agree to run them as uncut as humanly possible, with the exception of the original Cocoa-Cola and Dolly Madison plugs in the specials' original credits (if this costs them any revenue, Apple can reimburse them).  Or something similar to this, which could then be a template for handling the other perennial specials still running each year going forward. 

Online Teddy

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #5 on: October 22, 2020, 10:09:56 PM »
Although I'd be sad to see the Charlie Brown holiday specials go away this year, I'm not exactly surprised, considering the current state of things. At least if you have a VHS/DVD set of those specials, you can still watch them anytime for free.

Offline rockyboy34

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #6 on: Yesterday at 02:19:52 AM »
Heard it on TikTok first.

What a shame. Another favorite pastime gone. :(

Offline FanOfDrew87

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #7 on: Yesterday at 02:20:07 PM »
I, too, am not surprised by the possible demise of Charlie Brown specials on broadcast television.  I felt as if the end was looming a few years ago, and now it's finally come.  53 years is an incredible run for Charlie Brown specials, and very few non-current events shows that have or will have been on the air for 50 years or more likely stay around for a few more years.  This may apply to the remaining long-running daytime soaps and Sesame Street (the latter will no longer be aired on HBO Family as of November 1).  Though a very small number of non-current events programs will likely have plenty of life left, particularly The Price is Right.

But, regarding Charlie Brown specials, I think this sounds like a case of ratings having fallen in recent years.  There have been no brand new Charlie Brown specials in nearly a decade (2011 was the last new special, if I recall), so this could be hinting that the Charlie Brown specials were likely falling out of favor.

Not only could this be the end of an era for Charlie Brown specials on television, but also the official end of an era for animated cartoons for children on ABC.  The network had discontinued non-educational Saturday morning cartoons in September 2006, leaving only the occasional Charlie Brown specials in primetime (possibly due to contract reasons).  ABC's contract to air Charlie Brown specials may now be expired, and by the looks of things, ratings have been in decline for the last few years, and ABC may no longer be interested in airing these specials.  I don't know if ABC even airs any cartoons on Saturday mornings nowadays, if educational in nature.

Plus, it could be possible that the popularity of Peanuts is likely in decline.  There have been no new strips since 2000 due to the creator's declining health (and eventually death) at the time.  There was a package of syndicated reruns of strips with packages covering 1959 to 1974, and the 1990s.  My local newspaper did publish the vintage strips until 2015 when they decided to introduce many new comic strip series.  Three strips published prior to the overhaul retained staying power, but by last year there was another comics page overhaul and those three strips are now gone.

I also think most of the fanbase who grew up enjoying Peanuts are likely grandparents now, and those fans that grew up with the franchise are likely deceased, or getting so close to death, thus shrinking the fanbase and ratings for the holiday specials declining.

Also, to the OP, aren't you actually referring to ABC?

Online Teddy

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Re: a possible year without Charlie Brown on television
« Reply #8 on: Yesterday at 09:18:47 PM »
One has to remember, CBS had them first. So the 53 years thing (the same amount of time that the Grinch has had to put up with the Who-ville Christmas celebration before plotting to end it) would be combined across two networks.