How to watch Peanuts holiday specials, including 'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown'

Charlie Brown Halloween
Charlie Brown Halloween (Image credit: Bryan M. Wolfe / iMore)

Nearly a year ago, Apple TV+ arrived. Along with it, Snoopy in Space became one of the first original shows on the video-on-demand premium web service. No one knew it at the time that Snoopy and the gang's entry onto Apple's upstart service also set into motion a change to where previous Peanuts content would air moving forward. Starting with It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, at least three Peanuts holiday specials will now air on Apple TV+ exclusively.

What this means

Under a new partnership with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide, and Lee Mendelson Film Productions, Apple TV+ is where Charlie Brown, Linus, Lucy, Sally, and the rest of the Peanuts gang will celebrate Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, and perhaps other holidays starting this year.

Previously, the specials always aired on a broadcast network, usually CBS or ABC.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, the oldest of the specials, first aired in 1965. From then until 2000, it aired every year on CBS. Beginning in 2001, through 2019, it ran on ABC. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first launched in 1966, followed by A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in 1973.

Watch for free

Peanuts Holiday Specials

Peanuts Holiday Specials (Image credit: Peanuts)

Although Apple TV+ is a premium offering, Apple allows non-subscribers to watch each of the three specials for free, for a limited time.

As part of the agreement, It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown first premiered on Apple TV+ on October 19 and will be available for free from October 30 to November 1.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is coming to Apple TV+ on November 18 and will be available for free from November 25-27. Finally, A Charlie Brown Christmas will debut on December 4 and be available for free from December 11-13.

How to view

Apple TV+ is available across multiple devices and platforms, including iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, Mac, AirPlay, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and select Samsung, LG, and Vizio smart televisions.

Other legacy content

Snoopy Apple Partnership Wildbrain Shows Big Image

Snoopy Apple Partnership Wildbrain Shows Big Image (Image credit: Apple)

It's not yet known whether Apple TV+ is also where other Peanuts holiday specials will air in the coming months.

Of the other Peanuts specials that have aired over the years, many are holiday-themed, including It's the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown, Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown, It's Arbor Day, Charlie Brown, Happy New Year, Charlie Brown!, among others.

New content

Perhaps the reason Apple TV+ snagged the rights to at least some of the most popular Peanuts holiday specials is Apple's plan to develop new ones. Specials surrounding Mother's Day, Earth Day, and New Year's Eve are in the works. Meanwhile, a second season of the Daytime Emmy-nominated Snoopy in Space is also arriving soon. In 2021, The Snoopy Show will become the second Peanuts-themed series on Apple TV+.

Other options

If you don't have a subscription to Apple TV+ and want to watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown right now (and for many years to come), you do have some limited options.

First, you can purchase the Peanuts Holiday Collection on Blu-ray through Amazon. It contains all three of the previously mentioned Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas specials. A regular DVD version is also available. eBay might be another option if you're looking to purchase the specials on DVD or Blu-ray.

In most cases, unfortunately, the prices are very high, so your best bet might be to subscribe to Apple TV+.

Another option is to visit YouTube and see whether you can stream a copy of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown there for free.

What are your favorite Peanuts specials? Let us know in the comments below.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.