With Peanuts fans very unhappy about the classic Charlie Brown animated specials being removed from broadcast television this year, a popular petition has been launched to bring them back. Recently, Apple struck a deal with Peanuts owner WildBrain Studios to secure the rights to the specials, intending on keeping them exclusive to their Apple TV+ streaming service. While the company was likely hoping this would lead to an influx of new subscribers this holiday season, the news has instead generated controversy, as watching the Peanuts specials on broadcast television has been an American staple for over five decades.

Hoping to keep Peanuts on broadcast television, Michael Nebbia opened a petition on Change.org to bring the Charlie Brown specials back to broadcast television. It wasn't long before the petition started spreading rapidly, as there are a great many people who share Michael's opinion. After recently passing 150,000 signatures, a new target of 200,000 was listed on the petition, and given how quickly the list of names continues to grow, the movement will more than likely reach that goal. As of this writing, more than 158,000 people have already added their names

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"For over 50 years, we have celebrated the holidays with the airings of the Peanuts holiday specials on TV - first on CBS, then on ABC," the petition description reads. "To our shock and dismay, last night it was announced that Apple had swiped the football from us and claimed the specials for their Apple TV platform, leaving us devoted fans who have grown up with Charlie Brown and the Peanuts gang in the dark, unable to watch."

Encouraging other Peanuts fans to prevent Apple from taking "the football away from us like Lucy always does to Charlie Brown," the movement is also using the hashtag #AppleHatesTradition on social media to help spread the word. It's certainly not a good position for Apple to be in, and the controversy could bring about some changes. Time will tell if Apple listens to what so many people are asking for by providing the Peanuts specials to broadcast television, but it's also possible they're still hoping the backlash will be evened out by the number of new Apple TV+ subscriptions.

At this point, Apple TV+ subscribers can now watch It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown on the streaming service, and the title will be free to watch from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1. Next month, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will start streaming on Nov. 18 for subscribers, and people will be able to watch it for free between Nov. 25 and Nov. 27. In December, A Charlie Brown Christmas will exclusively stream on Apple TV+ starting on Dec. 4, and it will be made free to watch between Dec. 11 and Dec. 13.

For so many of us, it never truly feels like the holiday season until we're watching the classic Charlie Brown specials on TV. If you want to participate in the petition to bring the Peanuts specials back to television, you can add your name now at Change.org.

Jeremy Dick at Movieweb
Jeremy Dick