Monday, November 30, 2020
Thursday, November 19, 2020
Monday, November 16, 2020
Hello everybody! Sorry for the long time posting since the Countdown, but this is such a busy time of year. I'm glad to be back, even if it's to mention an unfortunate development in the world of entertainment.
As you likely know, ABC has lost the broadcast rights to the Peanuts TV specials to the online streaming service Apple TV+. The service is now the exclusive TV distributor of all of the previously created Peanuts TV programs as well as future specials and series. This is the first year since each special's debut broadcast that It's The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, and A Charlie Brown Christmas will not air on free broadcast TV. Apple will make each of these three specials available to non-subscribers for a three-day window, but other than that, you must be an Apple TV+ subscriber to watch these specials.
Being a huge Peanuts fan in general and of these three specials in particular, I was heartbroken to learn this news. These specials are in fact very special, especially A Charlie Brown Christmas. To me, these specials have such innocence and heart that they should always be available to all people free of charge. I feel they are a right, like single payer healthcare. To lose these specials from broadcast TV so unceremoniously, especially without warning (the announcement was made halfway through October when we all were expecting an air date for Great Pumpkin on ABC), was just, well, crappy.
Having said that, I don't hold as much animosity towards Apple as you might think. In fact, I kind of admire their interest in the franchise. They realize that to be a major player in the streaming world, they need a big name family franchise to be competitive. Disney has their many classic characters, HBO Max has Looney Tunes, and Netflix has Dreamworks Animation properties. Having Peanuts exclusively on their service helps Apple TV+ be an attractive service for families. Apple's interest is a compliment to the Peanuts legacy!
So if there's any silver lining to the loss of Peanuts from broadcast TV, it's that. Plus, the holiday specials are readily available on DVD and Blu-Ray, so it's not like the specials are locked away in some private vault to remain unseen by anyone.
It's just...you know. Different. Weird. Not right.
There's something about being on broadcast TV that makes viewing the specials a communal event. It's a different experience when you know that millions of other families are enjoying the programs the same time you are. Even having the commercials adds to the communal aspect. Yes, the commercials are trying to sell products, but they're also an acknowledgment that millions of homes are watching.
Oh well. We'll always have YouTube.