Fans of three beloved "Peanuts" TV specials, available for decades on free broadcast television, have taken to the virtual streets to protest their move to the streaming service Apple TV+.
"Really, @AppleTV? Really?" tweeted one commenter on the streaming service's Twitter account. "2020 isn't bad enough already? Watching Peanuts holiday specials on tv has been a family tradition for decades. Thank you for ruining that. I have a choice where I spend my money, and it will *never* be with you." Echoed the reply immediately beneath: "AMEN WILL NEVER BUY A SINGLE APPLE ANYTHING #greedy"
Commenters appeared to be unanimous in denouncing the move, with many noting pandemic-related financial issues. "So, with the world stuck inside, some who have lost jobs, the decision to make something like the Peanuts [specials] exclusive suddenly made sense?" asked one person. "The holiday specials give us a sense of tradition and nostalgia, especially in tough times. Put it back on broadcast."
Commenters were equally vocal at the official "Peanuts" Twitter page. "Watching these specials every year felt like we, as America, were all around the same TV watching together," tweeted one. "I know it's a small thing, but I really feel like we need this in a time when the country feels so divided."
Another person, reiterating a common refrain, noted that while the specials remain available on DVD and Blu-ray, " … my husband and I love to watch them on live ABC tv like we did when we were little kids. This is so sad."
Apple is providing free viewing windows, with the Halloween special "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" (1966) available gratis from Oct. 30-Nov. 1, "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" (1973) from Nov. 25-27 and "A Charlie Brown Christmas" (1965) from Dec. 11-13. Commenters acknowledged this while bemoaning the lack of a national communal experience. "It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was the unofficial annual kickoff to the holiday season, and Apple ruined it. I understand that I can still watch it for free, but to put [it] on the streaming app that no one wants is a slap in the face," one tweeted on the "Peanuts" page.
Several commenters found unity in a hashtag. As one person tweeted to AppleTV: "This is just a cruel thing to do as many families look forward to these yearly specials and introduce their children to Charlie Brown. Especially during these hard times, taking away such emotional comfort is vicious. #BringBackCharlieBrown to regular TV like decent people!"
An Apple representative did not respond to a Newsday request for comment.
The beloved half-hour specials, based on Charles M. Schulz's classic comic strip "Peanuts," originated on CBS, beginning with "A Charlie Brown Christmas," and ran on that network until they were moved to ABC in 2000.