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Apple TV+ will share Charlie Brown holiday classics with PBS

Charlie Brown and Linus in "A Charlie Brown Christmas."ASSOCIATED PRESS/Associated Press

Last month, Apple TV+ announced that it would become the exclusive home to “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” and other Peanuts specials. The new streaming service had bought the exclusive rights to Peanuts content, and it would use those rights to attract new subscribers. After decades of airing free on broadcast networks, those sacred holiday specials would no longer be able to reach the mainstream with their messages of love and peace and their portrait of the one and only Mr. Linus Van Pelt, hero.

Sure, Apple TV+ was going to offer the specials for free for short periods, but only for viewers who have the Apple TV+ app. It was, for many, the same as not being able to watch them and participate in their annual traditions. Well, the streaming service heard plenty about it, including from a Change.org petition with more than 262,000 signatures that read, “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.”


And so the streaming service has relented. It has partnered with PBS this year to air the seasonal specials free on both PBS and PBS Kids. “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” will air on Nov. 22, and “A Charlie Brown Christmas” will air on Dec. 13. You’ll still be able to watch them free on the Apple TV app, from Nov. 25-27 and Dec. 11-13, respectively.

Matthew Gilbert can be reached at matthew.gilbert@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MatthewGilbert.