October 19, 2020

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown and other Peanuts holiday specials move to Apple TV+; new specials and series also announced for Apple TV+

If, like me, you've been wondering why ABC hasn't set a broadcast date yet for It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - even though there are less than two weeks until Halloween - today we learned the apparent answer.

Today a press release from Apple and WildBrain Entertainment announced that the subscription streaming service Apple TV+ will "become the home for all things 'Peanuts,' bringing together new original series and specials, along with iconic beloved specials to fans around the world, all in one place."

The new series and brand-new specials coming to Apple TV+ will include:
  • The Snoopy Show (premieres Feb 5, 2021 - see below for more information);
  • New specials about Mother's Day, Earth Day, New Year's Eve, and "going back to school." (Yes, there's already a New Year's special.. but it sounds like they're going to make another one.);
  • A brand-new documentary for the 70th anniversary of Peanuts;
  • A second season of Snoopy in Space (the first season has been part of Apple TV+ since the service launched - see this blog post for more details).

No release date has been set for the other new shows other than The Snoopy Show.

But perhaps the more significant part of today's announcement is that the three classic Peanuts holiday specials - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas - will now exclusively be part of the Apple TV+ streaming service.

Each holiday special will be made available to view for free without a subscription via Apple TV+ for three days only.  (Of course, if you have an Apple TV+ subscription, they will be viewable whenever you want.)

While it hasn't been officially stated, most sources agree that ABC has lost the rights to broadcast the Peanuts holiday specials and none of them will appear on network television this year. (Three pieces of information support this: the announcement from Apple and Wildbrain; ABC's most recent contract to broadcast the specials expired this year; and the lack of any broadcast dates announcement by ABC.

This means the 55 year tradition of over-the-air, network broadcasts of the beloved holiday specials starring Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the gang has come to an end, unfortunately.

The Apple TV+ premiere and free streaming dates for the classic holiday specials will be as follows (all dates 2020):
  • It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown - begins streaming on October 19, free to non-subscribers from October 30 to November 1
  • A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving - begins streaming on November 18, free to non-subscribers from November 25 to November 27
  • A Charlie Brown Christmas - begins streaming on December 4, free to non-subscribers from December 11 to December 13

It's not clear if other classic Peanuts specials will also become available as part of Apple TV+ or not.

The streaming service Apple TV+ costs $4.99 a month.  You can watch it on Apple devices (including iPad, iPhone, Apple TV boxes, and Macs); on streaming devices such as Rokus, Amazon Fire boxes, and select smart TVs; or on the web at tv.apple.com .  You do not need to subscribe to the service to install the Apple TV app on any of those devices and watch the holiday specials during the free periods; you may, however, need to sign in with an existing or new Apple account.  See Apple's website for more information .

You can read today's full press release on either Apple or WildBrain's website.

While the press release doesn't use the word "exclusive" when referring to the classic Peanuts specials, it appears that at least for now, they are no longer available for digital rental/digital purchase from other services such as Amazon Prime or Vudu.  It's unknown if this is a temporary period of exclusivity, or a permanent one... time will tell.

The five theatrical Peanuts movies are not part of the Apple TV+ deal.

DVDs and Blu-rays of the classic specials remain available for purchase, however.


More details about the upcoming new Peanuts series The Snoopy Show:

It will premiere Feb 5, 2021 on Apple TV+ and each episode will consist of "three, seven-minute cartoons".

It's described as "a new animated series for kids and families that stars the internationally beloved beagle and his feathered best friend Woodstock as they tackle all new adventures. [..] All of Snoopy's bold, beloved personas are on full display in this brand-new animated comedy."  Exactly how many episodes there will be has not been revealed. You can watch the teaser trailer on Youtube.

October 2, 2020

It all began ...

... 70 years ago today: October 2, 1950.

Three small children, an average neighborhood, an apparently congenial tone ... and an unexpected little sting in the final panel.

And thus tradition was born.

Fun facts: Although we're immediately introduced to Charlie Brown in this debut cartoon, his two companions — Patty and Shermy — weren't named until (respectively) October 26 and December 18, also in 1950.

(Snoopy debuted in the third strip, on October 4, but wasn't named until November 10.)

As we celebrate this platinum anniversary, let's remember how it all began: with one man, his pen, a blank artist's board ... along with a rich imagination, and an extraordinarily perceptive understanding of the human condition.

To quote the title of the documentary/retrospective that aired January 9, 1976 (and won an Emmy Award, for "Outstanding Informational Children's Special") ...

Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!

February 12, 2020

Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown & A Charlie Brown Valentine to air Friday, February 14, 2020 on ABC

If you and your sweet babboo don't have a night out planned for this Valentine's Day - Friday, February 14, 2020 - while you're at home you can enjoy watching Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown together with A Charlie Brown Valentine on ABC from 8 - 9 PM (Eastern/Pacific).

December 27, 2019

Lee Mendelson, producer of over 50 Peanuts television specials and movies, passes away

Lee Mendelson, the producer of over 50 Charlie Brown animated specials and four theatrical Peanuts movies, passed away on Christmas Day, 2019 at age 86.

The first of these specials was, of course, 1965's A Charlie Brown Christmas, which is now a cultural icon and still airs to this day in prime time every year (as do several of the other Peanuts shows).

Read more about his life and career in this article from Variety.

Back in the late 1990's, Mr. Mendelson graciously agreed to a cold-call phone interview - and then an in-person meeting - with some fellow he'd never heard of who ran a website about the Peanuts television shows (that he'd also never heard of). He and his colleagues happily answered numerous follow-up questions with detailed information. It was all very much appreciated - to say nothing of the many laughs and much pleasure that his many television projects (together with Bill Melendez and Charles Schulz) brought to me in my childhood and beyond.

My condolences to his family and the staff at Lee Mendelson Productions.

December 3, 2019

A Charlie Brown Christmas airs Dec 5 & 17, 2019 (and other Peanuts holiday special broadcast times)

ABC will broadcast the full, unedited A Charlie Brown Christmas, accompanied by Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales, from 8-9 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on Thursday, December 5, 2019, and then again on Tuesday, December 17, 2019, also from 8-9 PM.

Later in the month, I Want a Dog for Christmas, Charlie Brown will air from 7-8 PM (Eastern/Pacific) - note earlier time - on Sunday, December 22, 2019, also on ABC.

Finally, ABC will show Happy New Year, Charlie Brown and She's a Good Skate, Charlie Brown on Thursday, December 26, 2019 from 8-9 PM (Eastern/Pacific).

November 28, 2019

A classic Peanuts Christmas countdown on FiveCentsPlease.org for 2019

FiveCentsPlease.org's tradition of celebrating the approach of Christmas with the Peanuts gang starts Friday, November 29, on our home page. A different single-panel comic with a holiday theme will appear each day through December 25.

As in the past several years, we've chosen a classic countdown from the archives, since new ones are no longer being made. This holiday season we'll be featuring the panels from 2003 for your entertainment.

Please join us on our home page each day - we hope the Christmas countdown panels will bring you a little extra daily cheer!

November 21, 2019

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving airs Wednesday, November 27, 2019 on ABC

This year ABC is airing A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, together with This is America, Charlie Brown: The Mayflower Voyagers, on Wednesday, November 27, 2019 from 8-9 PM (Eastern/Pacific time). That's the night before the holiday - plan your travels so that you arrive at your destination in time to catch it!

Plus, don't forget that the brand-new Astronaut Snoopy balloon will be floating down the streets of New York in this year's Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which airs from 9 AM to Noon (same broadcast time, all time zones) Thursday, November 28, 2019 on NBC.  See our previous blog post for more details about the new balloon.

And looking further ahead... the full, unedited A Charlie Brown Christmas, accompanied by the Charlie Brown's Christmas Tales shorts, will be shown from 8-9 PM (Eastern/Pacific) on Thursday, December 5, 2019 on ABC.

November 5, 2019

Snoopy Returns to Space

Save the date!
On November 28th, the 93rd Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade will air from 9 am to noon, all time zones, on NBC-TV. You won’t want to miss it, because an updated version of Astronaut Snoopy — presented by Peanuts Worldwide and NASA — will be featured in the line-up of super-sized balloons. 
Astronaut Snoopy will be in the parade to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing, and to promote the 12-part Apple TV+ series: Snoopy in Space.  You won’t be able to miss him; he’s 49 feet tall, 43 feet long, and 29 feet wide!
For additional information about this Snoopy balloon, and Peanuts’ history in the annual Macy’s parade — along with fun facts about Snoopy’s relationship with NASA — check out this informative article.
For additional information about Snoopy in Space, see our previous blog post.
This post contributed by Gayna Lamb-Bang.

November 1, 2019

Snoopy in Space now available to watch on Apple TV+

The Apple TV+ streaming service has launched, which means that the new Peanuts animated series Snoopy in Space is now available to subscribers.

Snoopy in Space consists of 12 short episodes, each 8 minutes long. All episodes are available now.

Apple's description of the series: "Blast off with Snoopy as he fulfills his dream to become a NASA astronaut. Joined by Charlie Brown and the rest of the Peanuts gang, Snoopy takes command of the International Space Station and explores the moon and beyond."

You can find out more about the episodes and watch trailers on the Apple TV+ page for Snoopy in Space on the web , or by searching for Snoopy in Space in the Apple TV app. Or you can watch the full trailer on YouTube.

The Apple TV+ streaming service launched November 1, costs $4.99/month or $49.99/year (in the United States) and is ad-free, with a 7-day free trial when you first sign up. You can watch shows in several ways: via an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV box updated to the most recent software; using a web browser by going to tv.apple.com ; and an Apple TV+ app is now available for Roku and Amazon Fire streaming boxes/sticks or on select recent Samsung televisions. AppleTV+ will be available in "more than 100 countries."

If you use the Apple TV app on an Apple device, you can also watch the first two episodes of Snoopy in Space (and most other shows) for free, even without signing up for the free trial subscription. Unfortunately, this is not an option when using a web browser or the Apple TV+ app on a Roku or Amazon Fire.

Snoopy in Space is one of the nine premiere shows/movies on Apple TV+ launches; five more (non-Peanuts) shows are confirmed for the following months, and Apple says they plan to have a steady stream of new shows. For more information, see Apple's website or this article from CNET.

While you're in the Apple TV app, don't forget you can also watch the short, free spoof documentary Peanuts In Space: Secrets of Apollo 10.  It is "an affectionate, lighthearted look at NASA and Charles Schulz's beloved Peanuts characters" and "seeks to answer the question: was Snoopy a world famous astronaut?" Ron Howard and Jeff Goldblum star along with a certain beagle.

Also, many of the classic Peanuts TV shows and movies are also available to rent or purchase via the Apple TV app (but they are not included as part of the monthly Apple TV+ subscription).

October 10, 2019

It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown to air October 22 & 27, 2019 on ABC

Get your flying ace and ghost costumes ready - It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown will be broadcast twice on ABC in October 2019.

First, an edited version airs on Tuesday, October 22 from 8:00 - 8:30 PM.

Then the full, unedited special together with You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown airs on Sunday, October 27 from 7:00 - 8:00 PM (all times Eastern/Pacific) - note the second showing is starting an hour earlier than it has in past years.

September 15, 2019

Snoopy in Space premieres November 1, 2019 on AppleTV+

(Now that Apple TV+ has launched, please see this newer blog post for more up-to-date information.)

As mentioned in a previous post, Apple and Peanuts Worldwide have announced Snoopy in Space, a new animated series that will be exclusive to the forthcoming Apple TV+ streaming subscription service.  Now Apple has revealed that Snoopy in Space will be one of the premiere shows on the service when it launches on November 1, 2019.

You can watch the trailer on YouTube.

According to Deadline, “Snoopy in Space follows Snoopy as his dreams of being an astronaut become a reality when he and Woodstock tag along with the Peanuts gang on a field trip to NASA and are chosen for an elite mission into space. As Snoopy and Woodstock fulfill their dreams of astronaut training and space travel, Charlie Brown and the gang assist their friends from mission control.”

Still unknown is how many episodes there are in the series, or how long each episode will be.

The Apple TV+ streaming service will be ad-free and cost $4.99/month (in the United States), with a 7-day free trial when you first sign up. To watch the service, you will need an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Mac, or Apple TV box updated to the most recent software; you will also be able to view it using a web browser at tv.apple.com or on select recent Samsung televisions. Apps for devices such as Rokus, Amazon Fire TV/Sticks, and other smart televisions are supposedly coming, but they haven't been released yet and it's not clear if they will be available by November 1, or later on. AppleTV+ will be available in "more than 100 countries."

Snoopy in Space will be one of nine shows available when Apple TV+ launches; five more (non-Peanuts) shows are confirmed for the following months, and Apple says they plan to have a steady stream of new shows. For more information, visit Apple's website or this article from CNET.

Peanuts by Schulz: Happy Holidays DVD

Warner Home Video has released a seventh DVD in the "Peanuts By Schulz" series, titled Peanuts By Schulz: Happy Holidays, featuring 26 shorts taken from the library of 104 shorts that aired on the Boomering channel in 2016.

This volume dispenses with the bogus "all new shorts" claim that Volumes 4-6 had, and instead simply says it has "26 shorts" on the cover.

Which is appropriate, since 22 of those shorts are repeats from previous volumes. 4 shorts are new, and this means across all 7 Peanuts By Schulz volumes, all but one of the Boomerang shorts has now been released on DVD. However, you'd have to buy an awful lot of repeats to get them all (and you'd still be missing that one).

As I've said before, it's difficult to recommend purchasing this or the previous few releases due to all the repeated content. Warner's failure to just provide a striaghtforward way to get all the shorts without extra repeats (and extra cost to the consumer) is inexcusable.

Another reason it's hard to recommend is that this is a single disc release, yet contains 26 shorts (totaling 3 hours and change) on just the one disc. This means the video quality of the shorts is likely to suffer due to over-compression (animation, in particular, fares poorly when too much is crammed on a DVD).

Peanuts By Schulz: Happy Holidays was released on September 10, 2019 and has a list price of $14.97, but should typically have a sale price of around $10-12.

For reference, the 4 new shorts on this DVD are:

The Winter Games
Do Not Watch Until Christmas
Kind of Spooky
That Day

August 20, 2019

Peanuts Holiday Collection Limited Edition Blu-ray set coming October 1 + A Boy Named Charlie Brown in theaters reminder

Do we need another yet another release of the Peanuts Holiday Collection video set? Warner Home Entertainment thinks so. On October 1, 2019, they'll be offering what they're calling the Peanuts 70th Anniversary Holiday Collection Limited Edition Blu-Ray set.

This new iteration of the set will feature 9 classic Peanuts specials on Blu-ray, three of which have not been released widely on Blu-ray before. (More on that in a bit.)

The specials included are:
It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
It's Magic, Charlie Brown
Charlie Brown's All-Stars
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
The Mayflower Voyagers
Play It Again, Charlie Brown
A Charlie Brown Christmas
It's Christmastime Again, Charlie Brown
It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown
The supposed lures of the set are that it will feature "brand-new bonus content" and comes in a "limited edition Snoopy doghouse giftset."

The new special features will be a new featurette titled It's Not the Holidays Without Charlie Brown, Charlie Brown! and "new audio commentary" for It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving; and A Charlie Brown Christmas.

No information about who is doing the audio commentary, or the content of the featurette, has been revealed so far. It's also unclear if the behind-the-scenes featurettes from the previous Warner DVD and Blu-ray releases of these shows will be included - a question sent to the studio's media contacts about that was not unanswered. (But don't be surprised if they don't include the old bonus content.)

In addition to the doghouse packaging, inside the you set will also find an "exclusive Snoopy figurine" and a "Charlie Brown holiday book," and it will be "a numbered, limited edition set with only 25,000 total sets available." Digital copies of the shows will also be included.

All this for $99.99 suggested retail.

The three mostly new to Blu-Ray shows are Charlie Brown's All-Stars; Play It Again, Charlie Brown; and It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown. But wait, I hear you say, weren't those released on the Peanuts Holiday Collection Deluxe Edition 4K UltraHD set in 2017? Well, sort of. They were on the 4K Ultra HD discs in that set... and It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown was on the Blu-rays in that set... but the other two shows weren't. So, if you don't have the means or desire to play Ultra HD discs, you can now get those three shows on Blu-ray in this set. Assuming you don't mind getting an expensive gift set that duplicates the other 6 shows you likely already have on Blu-ray.

(Also, it turns out those three specials were released on Blu-ray on Target exclusive versions of the Blu-rays in 2018... something I didn't learn until this year. Unfortunately, those Target exclusives are no longer available.)

One final note: the name of the set is a mouthful to begin with, but is made more ridiculous by the fact that it's being released one day before what is actually only the 69th anniversary of Peanuts. The 70th anniversary isn't until October 2, 2020. The marketing department at Warner seems quite overeager to get there...

Meanwhile, don't forget that you still have a chance to celebrate a Peanuts anniversary in a much more appropriately timed way, by going to see the "50th anniversary" showings of 1969 theatrical film A Boy Named Charlie Brown in select movie theaters this week, on Wednesday August 21 and Saturday August 24.

To find out if and when it'll be showing in a theater near you, visit the CineLife Entertainment website's page for A Boy Named Charlie Brown . (Apologies that this reminder is not as timely as it should have been.)

July 21, 2019

Snoopy goes to space on Apple TV+ and in a new graphic novel & catch the original Peanuts films in the theater!

Last week, timed to coincide with the 50th anniversary commemoration of Apollo 11, Apple and Peanuts Worldwide announced Snoopy in Space, a new animated show coming fall 2019 exclusively on the Apple TV+ streaming subscription service. You can watch the trailer on YouTube.

According to Deadline, “Snoopy in Space follows Snoopy as his dreams of being an astronaut become a reality when he and Woodstock tag along with the Peanuts gang on a field trip to NASA and are chosen for an elite mission into space. As Snoopy and Woodstock fulfill their dreams of astronaut training and space travel, Charlie Brown and the gang assist their friends from mission control.”

It's not clear if this will be a one-off show or a series (Deadline says "series," but other sources do not)... but exciting news regardless!

Staying with the space theme, BOOM! Studios and Peanuts Worldwide announced a new Peanuts graphic novel coming in December 2019, titled Snoopy: A Beagle of Mars, in which (you guessed it) Snoopy the world-famous astronaut goes to Mars. According to the press release, "Snoopy heads to the stars in his most out-of-this-world adventure yet! What mysteries does the red planet hold? Will he find water? Will he find life? Will he find the time to get in a quick nine holes?"

The graphic novel can be pre-ordered from Amazon and other online stores, or you can support your local comic book shop by buying it there in December.

Finally, 2019 is also the 50th anniversary of the first Peanuts theatrical film, A Boy Named Charlie Brown. To mark the occasion, CineLife Entertainment and CBS are partnering to bring "digitally remastered" presentations of both A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home (the second Peanuts movie) to actual movie theaters this August and October, respectively.

Each film will be shown on only a select few dates and times (not for an entire week or two, like current movies). The dates for A Boy Named Charlie Brown are Sunday August 18, Wednesday August 21, and Saturday August 24, 2019. The dates for Snoopy Come Home are Sunday September 29, Thursday October 3, and Saturday October 5, 2019.

To find out if they'll be showing in a movie theater near you, visit the CineLife Entertainment website's pages for each movie: A Boy Named Charlie Brown and Snoopy Come Home. If a local theater isn't listed, be sure to check back closer to the screening dates, as additional locations may be added. In some cases, you can also purchase tickets online via those links. I checked and it looks like they'll be showing near me - hopefully you'll be equally lucky!

May 29, 2019

The Redwood Empire Arena — Snoopy's Home Ice — Turns 50

(This special post is by 5CP Associate Editor Gayna Lamb-Bang.)

A milestone celebration took place at Santa Rosa’s ice arena on April 28, 2019.  Many people associated with the arena’s history attended the event, including Karen Kresge, director, choreographer and co-writer of the wonderful holiday ice shows; Judy Sladky, the one and only skating Snoopy; and famed ice skating star, Richard Dwyer (aka Mr. Debonair).

(For a history of Redwood Empire’s holiday ice shows, which ran from 1986 to 2003, read our previous blog entry.)

Charles M. Schulz grew up in St. Paul, Minnesota, where his father would flood their back yard with a garden hose; this created a small skating rink, where Schulz played hockey with his friends.   

Judy Sladky and alter-ego
When Charles Schulz moved to California as an adult, he missed playing hockey.  Meanwhile, he and his family enjoyed skating at Santa Rosa’s existing ice arena.  Unfortunately, that rink had structural issues, and was forced to close.  

In 1969, Schulz and his first wife, Joyce, decided to build their own ice arena on an empty plot of land on Santa Rosa’s West Steele Lane.  Joyce spent a month in Europe seeking inspiration from the buildings and landscapes she admired. Thanks to this research, the Schulzs’ new rink was designed with a Swiss chalet-inspired exterior.  The interior is just as lovely, with hand-painted flowers and designs on the walls, and an overall old-world charm.

After the arena was completed, the April 28, 1969, grand opening gala was emceed by baseball broadcaster Joe Garagiola. The show starred 1968 Olympic Gold Medalist Peggy Fleming, with music provided by the Vince Guaraldi Trio.

The rink has since provided skating and ice hockey for generations of children and adults.  But, after half a century, it’s necessary for the miles and miles of refrigeration steel pipes to be replaced with a high-density polyethylene piping system.  This $1 million renovation — to replace the below-ground infrastructure that keeps the ice smooth — began May 6, 2019, right after the anniversary ceremony, and is slated to be completed on Sept. 6, 2019.

To learn more about the Redwood Empire’s history, visitors to Northern California should check out the adjacent Snoopy’s Gallery and Gift Shop; the second floor has a terrific exhibit of pictures, videos and memorabilia that commemorate the building’s first 50 years. You also can check out the arena web site.

During the arena’s closure, the Warm Puppy CafĂ© remained open.

News update: The renovation is complete: a little behind schedule, but well worth the wait! The arena opened for business on Nov. 9, 2019, and had a celebration on Nov. 15.  As you can see in the picture, something special was added to the ice.

Our friends are a permanent part of the ice!