Old School Americana & Nostalgia


‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’: How to Watch It for Free

‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’: How to Watch It for Free

It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown was an annual Halloween season TV tradition for generations of viewers. The cherished Halloween special first aired on CBS in 1966, following the success of the Peanuts gang in their holiday classic, A Charlie Brown Christmas. In 2001, the Halloween special found a new home on ABC.

However, public outcry emerged when It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, and the other Peanuts holiday specials were relocated to AppleTV+ as part of a corporate agreement in 2020. This marked the first time in over 50 years that these specials were not aired on public TV. Fortunately, a sense of normalcy was restored in 2021 when the special returned to PBS for broadcast.

Streaming will be the exclusive method to watch It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. However, there’s an opportunity to enjoy it for free this month. Here’s how you can do it.

Subscribers have the flexibility to watch anytime, while non-subscribers can stream exclusively on October 21st and 22nd. For new and eligible subscribers, the service provides a complimentary seven-day trial, CBR reports. You can also subscribe to the streaming service for $6.99 a month.

Apple TV+ will also provide a special free window for non-subscribers to watch other holiday specials. A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving can be viewed for free from Nov. 18-19. Meanwhile, A Charlie Brown Christmas can be seen from Dec. 16-17.

‘It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown’ was the Second ‘Peanuts’ Special

Originally aired in 1966, Charles M. Schulz’s timeless tale follows the Peanuts gang as they embrace the spookiest holiday of the year. However, their celebrations often lead to amusing hijinks, such as Charlie Brown’s ghost costume mishap. With one too many holes in his sheet, everyone mistakes him for a potato.

Then there’s Linus Van Pelt, who anxiously waits in a pumpkin patch on Halloween, hoping to see the Great Pumpkin. This mythical figure rises from the pumpkin patch, like Santa Claus, and brings presents to children who believe in it. Meanwhile, Snoopy has elaborate fantasies facing off against the Red Baron.

Born in 1922 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Charles M. Schulz, the creative force behind the beloved “Peanuts” gang, had a deep passion for cartooning. His dream came true when his first comic strip, “Li’l Folks,” caught the eye of a local newspaper in his twenties. The comic featured a group of precocious youngsters with remarkable maturity. Eventually, the series was dubbed “Peanuts”, a name Schulz reportedly didn’t care for.

In 1965, the beloved newspaper comic strip made its way to the small screen with the debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas. This televised special quickly captured the hearts of millions, as over 15 million households tuned in for its premiere. Of course, from there, the series expanded to dozens more shows and even a 2015 feature film.