How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

Nov 21, 2020, 8:30 am EST | 1 min read

Since its 1973 premiere on CBS, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving has been a holiday TV staple. This year, after decades of airing on broadcast and cable channels, this special and other Peanuts animated short films moved exclusively to Apple TV+.

Generations have grown up with Charlie Brown, Snoopy, Woodstock, Lucy, Linus, Peppermint Patty, and the entire Peanuts gang from Charles Schulz’s comic strips. After the announcement that Apple+ would be the exclusive home for Peanuts specials (including both A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas), fans were outraged.

As a result, the specials are now scheduled to air on PBS, in addition to being available on Apple TV+. Here’s how you can stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving this holiday season.

Apple TV+

If you have an Apple TV+ subscription, you can stream the classic Peanuts holiday specials, including A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, A Charlie Brown Christmas, and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, anytime you like.

Even if you aren’t an Apple TV+ subscriber, you can still stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for free via the Apple TV+ app or website Nov. 25-27, 2020.

You can sign up for Apple TV+ for $4.99 per month after a seven-day free trial.

PBS Online

For broadcast viewers, PBS and PBS Kids will air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Nov. 22, 2020, at 7:30 p.m. local time/6:30 p.m. CT. Many (but not all) local PBS affiliates also have live streams available via the PBS website.

So, if your local affiliate is included, you can join Charlie Brown and friends for their impromptu backyard Thanksgiving dinner on Nov. 22, 2020, from your web browser. The special will not, however, be available via any of PBS’s on-demand services.

YouTube TV

Most streaming services with Live TV, like Hulu, don’t include PBS. If you’re a YouTube TV subscriber, though, many local PBS affiliates are included. Check the YouTube TV website to see if yours is available.

If it is, you can stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving live on Nov. 22, 2020, and experience the heartwarming joy of the Peanuts gang’s Thanksgiving dinner at Charlie Brown’s grandmother’s house.

YouTube TV is $64.99 per month after a seven-day free trial.

With these streaming options, you won’t feel like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football, only to have Lucy yank it away. The tradition of watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving lives on for another year.

Good news: The Peanuts special will be airing ad free on PBS and PBS KIDS for one night only.

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

While we’re all forced to adjust our Thanksgiving plans to stay safe amid the pandemic, there are some holiday traditions that still hold true. At the top of the list? Watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving while cozied up on the couch with loved ones.

But fans were disheartened to learn earlier in the season that all of the Peanuts classics, including the Thanksgiving special, were not going to air on basic cable for the first time in over 50 years. After some outrage (and a few petitions), it was announced on November 19 that for one night only, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving would return to broadcast television — truly something to be thankful about.

Where to Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in 2020

Right now, you can stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving exclusively on Apple TV+ with a paid subscription or a free 7-day trial. If you wait to watch the 30-minute special until the week of Thanksgiving, you’ll score the best deal: It will be free for everyone from November 25 to 27, just in time for Turkey Day. All you have to do is download the Apple TV+ app to watch.

If you can’t wait until then, you can catch the show on PBS and PBS Kids on November 22, at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT (check your listing here).

Keep in mind that the same rules will apply for A Charlie Brown Christmas, so it may not be a bad idea to sign up for Apple TV+ ($4.99 per month) now to get the most bang for your buck this holiday season. Or you can wait to watch the Christmas special on PBS on December 13.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving has been essential holiday viewing for people who like their children’s cartoons with a streak of existential melancholy ever since the special first aired in 1973. Though the Charlie Brown holiday specials usually air on ABC during the season, this year the specials have moved with the times and are going to a streaming service, allowing viewers to watch the special at any time during Turkey Day.

How to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving online

This year, all the Charlie Brown holiday specials (A Charlie Brown Christmas, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown) are exclusive to Apple TV+.

However, the streamer is allowing viewers a limited window to watch them. The window for Great Pumpkin has already passed, but Thanksgiving is available to watch for free from Wednesday, November 25 to Friday, November 27. Christmas, meanwhile, is free from December 11 until December 13.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving had its only TV airing earlier in November on PBS, meaning that Apple TV+ is now the only way to watch it this year. Though it is streaming for free now, after Nov 27 the special will still be available to Apple TV+ subscribers.

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

New subscribers can get a seven-day free trial of Apple TV+, after which time the service costs $4.99 a month. For that cost, viewers can watch not only the holiday specials, but also a series of new shorts starring Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang and originals like The Morning Show.

As for people who have bought new (or refurbished) Apple products in the last few months, you should be able to claim a free year on Apple TV+, allowing you to watch the specials this year and next year.

Apple TV+ has also announced that it is making a set of mew specials about other holidays, including Mother’s Day, Earth Day, and New Year’s Eve. These are the first Peanuts specials since 2011’s Happiness is a Warm Blanket.

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For those who have managed to missed A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving for the last 47 years, the official synopsis reads: “With Snoopy and Woodstock pulling kitchen duty, a traditional turkey and stuffing meal is simply not in the cards. Will good old Charlie Brown survive the holiday and the wrath of his hungry dinner guests?”

The special first aired on CBS on 1973, and aired on the network for every year until 2000, when it moved to ABC. They aired it for the next two decades until the specials have now moved to a streaming home.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is streaming now on Apple TV+.

Updated 2 months ago

For some, watching A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving in November each year is a rite of passage. It’s a way to ring in the official holiday season and even gives you an excuse to start decorating for Christmas afterward. But because it’s such an important movie for some people, they may be wondering how to stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.

Luckily, it has never been easier to watch Charlie, Lucy, and the rest of the Peanuts gang learn about the true meaning of turkey day. Even if you don’t manage to catch it live on TV, there are other ways to watch the holiday movie until you are ready for your own Thanksgiving feast of jelly beans and ice cream.

Annual reminder that the meal from A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving included jelly beans.

Here’s how to stream ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ on Apple TV:

You used to be able to stream A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on YouTube, but Apple TV+ has acquired the rights to the famed Peanuts specials. Therefore, Nov. 25-27, you can stream it on Apple TV+. There are some clips available on YouTube, but nothing beats watching the movie in its entirety.

And since it was originally a TV special, it won’t take more than a half hour of your day to watch the sulky Blockhead and his merry band of misfits celebrate what is a favorite holiday for so many.

But ‘A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving’ will air on PBS in November too.

You might not be ready to think about the holidays just yet and that’s totally fine. If you’re itching to at least break out your turkey-themed wreath, however, then you’re probably ready to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. In the past, it was broadcast on ABC and was originally set to remain on Apple TV+ for the 2020 season.

After backlash from those who are accustomed to watching it on network television, however, it will air on PBS and PBS KIDS on Nov. 22, 2020 at 7:30 pm ET.

But because the special is just a half hour long with commercials, you might find yourself ready for more of the Peanuts gang directly afterward. If that’s the case, and if you have access to an Apple TV+ account, you can watch some of the other specials there directly after.

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving kicks off the holiday season, in a way, and if it’s one of your holiday staples, then you won’t want to miss an opportunity to stream it or watch it live on TV.

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

A history of the TV special:

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving was the third TV holiday special to stem from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts brand. It originally aired on CBS in 1973, but can now be found on ABC every year in November. The short movie is about one of the many instances wherein Charlie finds himself at the center of an event he can’t quite handle.

So when he gets stuck preparing a Thanksgiving feast for all of his friends, it turns into a dinner consisting of toast, popcorn, pretzels, and other junk food you’d expect at a Thanksgiving meal prepared by kids who can’t properly use an oven. In the end, the entire gang is invited to Charlie’s grandmother’s house to enjoy a proper meal with the family.

In 2013, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving celebrated its 40th anniversary and The Chicago Tribune spoke to Peanuts features producer Lee Mendelson about the success of the TV special after all these years. He credited the characters themselves for being one of the main reasons viewers still tune in each year to watch.

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

“I think that people identify with Charlie Brown because no matter how many times he gets knocked down, he gets back up and tries again,” Lee said. “I think it’s the resiliency he shows that appeals to people. And I think Linus, with the security blanket, appeals to people. And then of course the not-all sweet Sally takes it out on Linus, and Lucy certainly on everybody else.”

In this holiday classic featuring characters from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts comic strip, Peppermint Patty invites everyone to Charlie Brown’s home for Thanksgiving, even though he’s going to see his grandmother. Snoopy decides to cook his own version of a Thanksgiving meal with help from his friends.

For anyone familiar with the Peanuts gang of kids and Charlie Brown’s precocious dog Snoopy, news of this Thanksgiving-theme production returning to public broadcast is a ray of Woodstock-colored sunshine (Woodstock is Snoopy’s bright yellow bird friend). The Emmy Award-winning production premiered in 1973 on the CBS network and in past decades aired on ABC. It’s just wishful thinking to imagine that lovable Charlie Brown and Snoopy could be public domain by now. They are not. In October, Apple TV Plus obtained the exclusive rights to the “Peanuts” catalog from the Charles Schulz estate (learn more on The New York Times). Fans reacted with dejection, a feeling often expressed by Peanuts’ star character, Charlie Brown.

But on Wednesday, November 18, Apple announced that it would allow PBS to show commercial-free versions of the Thanksgiving special on November 22 – and – the Charlie Brown Christmas Special on December 13. If you haven’t watched these Peanuts holiday specials in years, or ever, now is the time to experience the “old days” of appointment viewing (no streaming, folks) and tune-in on one of our WNET channels.

The thirty-minute program includes straight-forward animation, music by composer Vince Guaraldi, and complex emotions and philosophical questions from characters Peppermint Patty, Linus, Lucy, Franklin, Sally, Charlie Brown and friends. If you are missing loved ones this Thanksgiving, we hope that for some of you, this gang will bring back fond memories of past Thanksgivings, and times shared in front of favorite television specials together.

You weren’t prepared for a Thanksgiving like this, just like Charlie Brown in this sweet special.

Lucy tried to pull the football away, but it looks like it’s back.


How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

Do you want to watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving this year, but you don’t have Apple TV+? Well, it’s not as bad as we thought it was going to be. For a while there, free seasonal Charlie Brown was the football, and Lucy was AppleTV, but now, it seems like the football is back.

While Apple TV has bagged exclusive rights to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving — just as they did last month with It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown, and just as they will next month with A Charlie Brown Christmas — there will be a few brief windows during which you can catch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas on “regular” TV, if you don’t have Apple TV+.

“In addition to streaming on their new home Apple TV+, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas will air ad-free on PBS and PBS Kids on Sunday, Nov. 22, and Sunday, Dec. 13, respectively, at 7:30 pm local time/6:30 pm CT.”

This move seems to be in response to the public outcry over Apple TV+ holding the rights to air the Peanuts specials. People weren’t happy about the Halloween thing.

So, can you watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving without paying for Apple TV+? Sort of.

Apple TV+ will launch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving on November 18, and, to their credit, the special will be available for free from November 25 until November 27. According to an Apple TV+ press release, the beloved Peanuts classics are paving the way for a slew of fresh animated Peanuts projects, including a second season of Daytime Emmy nominee Snoopy in Space, and several brand-new specials that will find the Peanuts gang observing Mother’s Day, Earth Day, New Year’s Eve and going back to school. The new series and specials join the previously announced The Snoopy Show, the Daytime Emmy Award–winning Peanuts in Space: Secrets of Apollo 10, and a Peanuts 70th-anniversary documentary film.

So, we guess you could say Apple TV+ has Peanuts in the bag.

If you pay for AppleTV+, you can watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving right here, right now.

Turkey Day just isn’t the same without “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” and the special wasn’t going to air on TV this year. Luckily, a new deal puts it on PBS for one night, and it’s available to watch for free online for a limited time.

After a petition demanding the specials return to TV garnered over 250,000 signatures, Apple TV+ teamed up with PBS to air “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Sunday, Nov. 22 at 7:30 p.m. EDT.

For those who prefer streaming, “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will be available Apple TV+ for free from November 25 until November 27. That gives Peanuts fans three days, which includes Thanksgiving and Black Friday, to watch the special.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” debuted on Apple TV+ on Nov. 18, and the special is available to subscribers year-round. Subscriptions to Apple TV+ start with a free 7-day trial and cost $4.99 a month after that.

The Emmy Award-winning special follows Charlie Brown on Thanksgiving. As he prepares to head to his grandmother’s house, Peppermint Patty suddenly invites herself over with Marcie and Franklin, expecting a traditional Thanksgiving meal. Can Charlie Brown handle two Thanksgivings?

The 1973 special joins “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” as an Apple exclusive. Last month, the streamer made the Halloween special free to watch for a few days. In December, “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” starts streaming on Dec. 4 for subscribers. Once again, the holiday special will be free to view for a few days from Dec. 11 until Dec. 13 while PBS will air it on Dec. 13.

2020 marks the first year in decades that the Charlie Brown holiday specials aren’t on broadcast TV. They aired on CBS until 2001, at which point ABC grabbed the rights. Now Apple TV+ holds the exclusive rights to the Peanuts specials.

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will be available to watch for free on Apple TV+. Photo: Apple TV+

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

Although the famous Charlie Brown special will no longer air on ABC this Thanksgiving, it will be available on Apple TV+, and it’s coming to PBS too.

It’s been a fixture of the season since the 1970s, but this year you’ll have to look elsewhere to watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving.” Following Apple TV+ buying the rights to all things Charlie Brown, it will no longer be seen on ABC — but it can still be seen for free.

That’s partly because Apple is making the special free to watch on Apple TV+ for a limited period. As well as hoping to draw viewers to the service, though, Apple has agreed to have the special air on both PBS and PBS Kids.

When to watch on Apple TV+

Apple TV+ is adding the various Charlie Brown specials one at a time and doing so in what are called limited windows. Subscribers get the shows first, then they are made free to watch on Apple TV+. Finally, they now get a free showing on PBS.

“A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” became available for Apple TV+ subscribers on November 18. It will be made free to watch between November 25 and November 27.

One thing that Apple is not yet clear about is whether the specials will remain on Apple TV+ permanently. It’s possible that they will be brought out around the holidays each year.

However, the Halloween special “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” was all things Charlie Brown”>added to the service on October 19, and it remains available.

Where to watch “Charle Brown” on Apple TV+

You can watch this special and any other available Apple TV+ shows and series through four different routes. This includes the official Apple apps, such as that on the iPhone.

However, there is there is also the Apple TV set-top box, and then there are selected smart TVs.

But, nearly any user on any platform can watch online via any modern browser. Browser streaming may be the most convenient for people who solely want to catch these specials, and don’t have an Apple device.

How to watch “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” on Apple TV+ without a subscription

  1. In any modern web browser, go to
  2. Find the show and press Play
  3. Either watch it on your computer, or stream it to a television of your choice

You can also stream from the iPhone, or iPad version of the Apple TV app. Plus you can watch on those apps on iPhone, iPad, Mac and Apple TV.

How to stream ‘a charlie brown thanksgiving’

How to watch on PBS

Given that Apple TV+ is famously available on “a billion devices, y’all,” then in theory “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” remains as easily available to watch as it ever was. You are just seeing it on a different screen.

In practice, though, this is a show that has become a family tradition, and a tradition that has involved gathering around the TV. It remains simple to plug an Apple TV into a regular set, or even AirPlay from, say, an iPhone.

However, that’s also perhaps more than someone will want to do if they have no other interest in Apple TV+. For those people, Apple has licensed “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” to PBS for one airing.

The special will be shown simultaneously on PBS and PBS Kids. Overall TV schedules are not yet confirmed, but “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” is expected to air on November 22 at 7:30 P.M. local time.

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By Adam Barnhardt – November 22, 2020 05:17 pm EST

After a brief hiccup in the world of distribution, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving will be available for the masses to watch after all. Last month, Apple inked a new deal to put the Charlie Brown holiday specials exclusively on AppleTV+. Shortly after the new Apple deal was first announced, fans quickly lept into action by launching an online petition that quickly gathered thousands of signatures.

“Obviously we can’t let this stand. We can not let Apple take the football away from us like Lucy always does to Charlie Brown!” an organizer wrote in the petition’s description. “It’s time for us Peanuts fans to stand up to Apple and Wildbrain Studios (current owners of Peanuts) and show them they’re making a mistake. With this petition, we are making a statement – the statement that #AppleHatesTradition and that the tradition of watching the Peanuts holiday specials should be renewed as soon as possible! All we have to do is sign this, send it off and share it.”

In the subsequent backlash, Apple slightly reversed course, allowing PBS special access to A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas for one night each this holiday season. With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the public broadcasting station is choosing to air A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving tonight, November 22nd.

What Time Is A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?

In order to cast as wide of a net as possible, PBS is airing A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving at 7:30 p.m. local time, or 6:30 p.m. Central. The station recommends checking your local listing to confirm the time the iconic animated hit will air in your market.

How to Watch A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving?

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving is airing either on the main PBS channel or PBS Kids, again, dependent on the market, so you’ll be able to watch wherever those channels are available, whether it be over-the-air, or with a package through your local cable provider. PBS and PBS Kids are also both available on YouTube TV if you’ve chosen to go with a digital streaming provider.

More information on PBS and its mission can be found below:

PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 120 million people through television and 26 million people online, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. Decades of research confirms that PBS’s premier children’s media service, PBS KIDS, helps children build critical literacy, math and social-emotional skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality educational content on TV – including a 24/7 channel, online at, via an array of mobile apps and in communities across America.

A Charlie Brown Christmas, on the other hand, will air at the same time on December 13th.