News for North Texas
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Cue The Happy Dance: The 'Peanuts' Gang Plans 2 Holiday Visits To PBS

Snoopy, Charlie Brown, Linus and the rest of the 'Peanuts' gang dance to the accompaniment of a band of birds.
Courtesy Apple TV+
Apple TV+
The holidays wouldn't be the holidays without a two-step from the 'Peanuts' gang. This year, Apple TV+ bought the rights to the iconic cartoons, but the Thanksgiving and Christmas specials will air on PBS (locally, KERA TV).

Apple TV+ bought the rights to the classic cartoon franchise, and fans worried about losing a free-TV chance to watch the holiday specials. After a social-media firestorm, Apple worked out a deal to air the Thanksgiving and Christmas shows on PBS.

The gang from "Peanuts" will have a free-TV home for the holidays after all.

Apple TV+ and PBS announced Wednesday that "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" will air Sunday night on PBS — in North Texas, that means 6:30 p.m. on KERA-Channel 13.

The "Peanuts" Christmas special and its indelible Vince Guaraldi soundtrack will make a PBS appearance at 6:30 p.m. Central time on Dec. 13.

This is a gear shift for Apple TV+, which bought the rights to the iconic cartoon series earlier this year. Last month, Apple announced plans to air the specials and other Peanuts content only on the streaming service.

That set off a social media firestorm from die-hards who believe Charlie Brown on broadcast television is as crucial to the holiday season as turkey in the oven or elves in Santa's workshop. One fan tweeted: “Watching these specials every year felt like we, as America, were all around the same TV watching together. I know it's a small thing, but I really feel like we need this in a time when the country feels so divided." The hashtag #BringBackCharlieBrown was born.

Apple did make the Peanuts’ Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas specials free to watch for short spells before the holidays, but that wasn’t enough for the loyalists. Then came Wednesday's PBS announcement.

"What an honor it is to be able to bring Charles Schulz’s holiday specials to North Texas,” said Bill Young, vice president of TV programing at KERA. "I can’t think of a better home for these timeless classics than KERA and PBS."

A lot of holiday traditions are changing this year. One won't, though: Charlie Brown's never going to be able to put the boot to that football in Lucy's clutches.

Got a tip? Email Rick at You can follow him on Twitter @rickholter.

KERA News is made possible through the generosity of our members. If you find this reporting valuable, consider making a tax-deductible gifttoday. Thank you.

Rick Holter was KERA's vice president of news. He oversaw news coverage on all of KERA's platforms – radio, digital and television. Under his leadership, KERA News earned more than 200 local, regional and national awards, including the station's first two national Edward R. Murrow Awards. He and the KERA News staff were also part of NPR's Ebola-coverage team that won a George Foster Peabody Award, broadcasting's highest honor.