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Charlie Brown and Linus van Pelt in A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)

For decades, many Charlie Brown fans have made it a tradition to gather in front of the television and watch the Peanuts holiday specials on ABC. Those plans will, however, be changing this year as specials like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and other specials have been acquired by Apple TV+. The move likely came as a surprise to some and, so far, it looks like some fans aren’t taking the news all that well. At present, one fan has organized a petition, and it’s gaining a bit of moment.

Following the news of the Peanuts specials moving to streaming, a fan launched an online petition on Change.org. The fan writes that the decision to move Charlie Brown and his friends to a streaming service leaves “devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch. He goes on to say that they “can’t let this stand” and that they “can not let Apple take the football away from us like Lucy always does to Charlie Brown.”

The petition is getting some attention right now. As of this writing, it has over 160,000 signatures of its intended 200,000 goal. This definitely wouldn’t be the first time fans have posted a petition hoping for change, but this one definitely falls into the category of petitions that get backing from a solid portion of fans.

The Peanuts holiday specials originally premiered on CBS back in the ‘60s. A Charlie Brown Christmas kicked things off in 1965 and was followed by It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown in 1966. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving would premiere later in 1973. The specials would all continue to air on CBS until 2000, after which the specials moved to ABC.

While new animated Peanuts projects over the past few years, Apple TV+ is now investing in the franchise in a major way. The streaming service is already heading into a second season of the Emmy-nominated, Snoopy in Space and is currently developing additional content, including a slate of holiday specials.

Apple TV+ also announced that though It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will only be available on the service, the streamer is making it available for free to non-subscribers from October 30 to November. Users will only need to download the app for access.

As someone who’s watched the Peanuts gang for most of his life, I can admit that it will be odd not seeing them on TV this year. Still, it does sound like Apple TV+ is working away to keep the franchise going, and it will be interesting to see how things develop for the franchise – both with its classic and new content – moving forward.

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