The future of Peanuts specials on network TV?

wiley207

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I've noticed that since last year, maybe earlier, ABC does not promote their annual airings of "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" anymore, though they still air it every year. First they air it edited (they even cut the football gag) so they could air their more popular "Toy Story of Terror" right afterward (which always manages to pull in better ratings than "The Great Pumpkin.") Then they air it again later in the month unedited (and paired with "You're Not Elected Charlie Brown"), but unannounced and not promoted at all, and is usually just used as filler material on a night when they don't have anything new to air planned in the 8 to 9 PM time slot, often when a bigger ratings-grabber is on a rival network.

Last year, the ratings for "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" saw a significant drop, especially the uncut re-airing later in the month, largely due to ABC's lack of promotion (UClick and DHX will promote it themselves online, but that's it.) I imagine the other Peanuts specials performed equally as poorly in the ratings, except maybe for one of the "Charlie Brown Christmas" airings.

I'm pretty sure ABC is showing less and less interest in the Peanuts, especially since DHX Media now co-owns the franchise with Charles Schulz Creative Associates, and since Disney owns ABC and Pixar, they favor those specials over the Peanuts classics. ABC's contract to air the Peanuts specials expires in 2020, and I can see ABC not renewing the contract when that happens. But I doubt the specials will disappear from the airwaves; chances are another network will pick them up. It wouldn't be the first time, as the Peanuts specials originally ran on CBS prior to 2001. The Peanuts specials could possibly go back to CBS, but I kind of doubt it. Or they could air on FOX, especially since the newest specials actually have aired on FOX (like "Happiness is a Warm Blanket, Charlie Brown.")

Any thoughts?
(I just watch the Great Pumpkin special on DVD myself.)
 

Daffyfan2002

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I agree. I notice in recent years, ABC has done away with the Easter Beagle special altogether.

:deedee::crow::zoidberg:I notice in recent years, ABC has done away with the Easter Beagle special.

About the other specials, I have to agree that they don't advertise them as much as they used to. I guess it is a better idea to watch the specials online or the DVDs. Heck, I've been doing that lately because I'm not sure how much time I'll have to watch the shows when they're on.

Another problem with airing those specials on ABC is that they air the shows for an hour which is a good idea so they can show the specials uncut, except to fill the time they show butchered versions of other Peanuts specials, (Ex: "The Mayflower Voyagers," "She's a Good Skate," etc.) I'd much rather see those in their entirety. (Even though they did break a famous Peanuts rule in the uncut version of "She's a Good Skate" where the teacher's voice is heard.)
 

Corwin Haught

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This year's Great Pumpkin broadcast was stretched out of the 4:3 aspect ratio so the image would look bigger on widescreen TVs. Had anyone else noticed?
 

LinusFan303

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I (of course) watched on Thursday night and will watch the replay on the 26th like I normally do. I don't watch alot of ABC so I am not sure how much they promoted it on TV , I think they go more splashy on Christmas. (Even, airing the special uncut twice) It did alright Thursday Night, only losing to TNF, and the Chuck Lorre CBS shows. It beat all the NBC shows and the shows that weren't it on ABC. (source) (And the Friday airings do better because nothing else really on against it)

I do agree, that the specials aren't going be dropping off TV anytime soon. It's hard to tell if ABC is still interested in it or not guess we will find out when the renewal comes up, If anything it could end up back on CBS or maybe NBC.

Also, I don't know why ABC doesn't air the Easter Beagle that annoys me, but I am glad they air the other specials they normally air between October-February.


This year's Great Pumpkin broadcast was stretched out of the 4:3 aspect ratio so the image would look bigger on widescreen TVs. Had anyone else noticed?

Must have been your station or something , I had it normal 4:3 non stretched.
 

wiley207

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(And the Friday airings do better because nothing else really on against it)

Well, the re-airing of the uncut version varies by year, because ABC will just use it as filler material on a night when they don't have anything new scheduled for the 8 to 9 PM timeslot. Last year, the uncut version ran on a Sunday. And the ratings are probably still going to be significantly lower than the edited and time-compressed airing, because ABC definitely doesn't promote it (like I said, they just use it as filler material on the schedule) and because there isn't a Pixar special or anything else like that coming on afterward; the edited airing only really brings in more viewers because everybody is waiting to tune in to "Toy Story of Terror," which usually pulls in higher ratings than both "Great Pumpkin" airings do.
If that's the case, then why not have "Toy Story of Terror" air first, in the 8 PM time slot, followed by the edited "Great Pumpkin" at 8:30, like when "Toy Story of Terror" first premiered in 2013? (I think that also happened in 2014, but I don't really remember.)

But should ABC not renew the Peanuts contract, chances are they'll have to get a new special to pair up with "Toy Story of Terror." Maybe they could bring back "Scared Shrekless" (IIRC, ABC last aired it in 2012, before "Toy Story of Terror" was made, and it's not airing ANYWHERE this year), especially since they still air "Shrek the Holidays" in December. Or there could be a new Pixar TV special; maybe do a Halloween special relating to "Monsters Inc." or even "Coco." (But then again, the Day of the Dead festivities is pretty much Mexico's version of Halloween.)
 

wonderfly

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I also watch a lot of "ABC", and haven't noticed it being promoted as much this year and last year....I enjoy tracking the holiday specials as well - from "The 10 Commandments" around Easter, to the animated Christmas specials (Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolf) in November/December.

Last year, "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" aired on Thursday, October 19th. The 2 years prior to that, I think they aired it on Halloween night itself (a terrible time to broadcast it - the kids are out trick or treating)!

So I'm happy it's to be rebroadcast this Friday, October 26th along with "You're Not Elected Charlie Brown" (which they haven't broadcast in...4 years, I want to say. They didn't broadcast it the last 2 years, I know that)....

I also notice that they dropped the Shrek and "Monsters vs. Aliens" Halloween Specials and have only aired "Toy Story of Terror" the last 5 years (though maybe the Shrek and "Monsters vs. Aliens" special were on another channel besides ABC, I can't remember).

If they are about to give up the license, I hope NBC or CBS gets the broadcast rights...or maybe FOX or The CW. It's freakin' tradition. You can't just say "Go get the DVD!"
 

LinusFan303

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I also watch a lot of "ABC", and haven't noticed it being promoted as much this year and last year....I enjoy tracking the holiday specials as well - from "The 10 Commandments" around Easter, to the animated Christmas specials (Charlie Brown, Frosty, Rudolf) in November/December.

Last year, "Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown" aired on Thursday, October 19th. The 2 years prior to that, I think they aired it on Halloween night itself (a terrible time to broadcast it - the kids are out trick or treating)!

So I'm happy it's to be rebroadcast this Friday, October 26th along with "You're Not Elected Charlie Brown" (which they haven't broadcast in...4 years, I want to say. They didn't broadcast it the last 2 years, I know that)....

I also notice that they dropped the Shrek and "Monsters vs. Aliens" Halloween Specials and have only aired "Toy Story of Terror" the last 5 years (though maybe the Shrek and "Monsters vs. Aliens" special were on another channel besides ABC, I can't remember).

If they are about to give up the license, I hope NBC or CBS gets the broadcast rights...or maybe FOX or The CW. It's freakin' tradition. You can't just say "Go get the DVD!"

They've been consistent on airing "You're Not Elected" every year, but the Easter Beagle has been not aired since 2014 where they also aired "Charlie Brown's All Stars" on Easter night. I agree, it 's better it air on a network I can watch any of Peanuts specials on DVD but it's not as special as watching the same night as others on a TV network.


Well, the re-airing of the uncut version varies by year, because ABC will just use it as filler material on a night when they don't have anything new scheduled for the 8 to 9 PM timeslot. Last year, the uncut version ran on a Sunday. And the ratings are probably still going to be significantly lower than the edited and time-compressed airing, because ABC definitely doesn't promote it (like I said, they just use it as filler material on the schedule) and because there isn't a Pixar special or anything else like that coming on afterward; the edited airing only really brings in more viewers because everybody is waiting to tune in to "Toy Story of Terror," which usually pulls in higher ratings than both "Great Pumpkin" airings do.
If that's the case, then why not have "Toy Story of Terror" air first, in the 8 PM time slot, followed by the edited "Great Pumpkin" at 8:30, like when "Toy Story of Terror" first premiered in 2013? (I think that also happened in 2014, but I don't really remember.)

But should ABC not renew the Peanuts contract, chances are they'll have to get a new special to pair up with "Toy Story of Terror." Maybe they could bring back "Scared Shrekless" (IIRC, ABC last aired it in 2012, before "Toy Story of Terror" was made, and it's not airing ANYWHERE this year), especially since they still air "Shrek the Holidays" in December. Or there could be a new Pixar TV special; maybe do a Halloween special relating to "Monsters Inc." or even "Coco." (But then again, the Day of the Dead festivities is pretty much Mexico's version of Halloween.)

Toy Story of Terror doesn't do better than Peanuts , the audience dips from Great Pumpkin to Toy Story of Terror.
 

Low Spark of Lyman

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I won't ask about the Garfield specials, then (even though Boomerang got most of them).

Seriously, though, it feels troubling when even Peanuts gets only rudimentary treatment on television, although I do like the back to back treatment when they do air.

(As an aside, You're Not Elected and the Great Pumpkin encore are airing on my birthday this year)
 

LinusFan303

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They could move the Peanuts specials to Disney Channel...or does ABC still have exclusive rights?
ABC does have exclusive rights. I think it would be nice if they aired some of the non-holiday themed ones on Disney Channel or something. I think the holiday ones should still run on a broadcast network though.
 

wiley207

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Hmm, must've missed those broadcasts...

Like I said, ABC won't announce or promote them. They just stick it on a random night as filler material where nothing new is planned for that timeslot, and they don't care if the ratings suck. But at least we found out it'll be this upcoming Friday night at 8 PM. (I'm surprised they're still including "You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown," as there's no presidential election this year.) Maybe if the Peanuts specials move to FOX or TBS, or even back to CBS, they will use that same hour-long program, but actually promote it.
 

LinusFan303

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Like I said, ABC won't announce or promote them. They just stick it on a random night as filler material where nothing new is planned for that timeslot, and they don't care if the ratings suck. But at least we found out it'll be this upcoming Friday night at 8 PM. (I'm surprised they're still including "You're Not Elected, Charlie Brown," as there's no presidential election this year.) Maybe if the Peanuts specials move to FOX or TBS, or even back to CBS, they will use that same hour-long program, but actually promote it.
I don't think it's random they do have set patterns to the dates they air Great Pumpkin which seem to air between the 15th to 20th and 27th to 31st of October. Thanksgiving usually airs the day before Thanksgiving. (when I find the exact date this year, I'll update my signature)

Great pumpkin airings (for reference)

2018 : October 18th (Thursday) October 26th (Friday)
2017 : October 19th (Thursday ) October 29th (Sunday )with You're not Elected
2016: October 19th (Wednesday) October 28th (Friday) with You're not Elected
2015: October 20th (Tuesday) October 29th (Thursday) with you're not elected
2014 : October 15th (Wednesday) (October 30th (Thursday) With your not elected
2013: October 31st (Thursday) With You're not elected
2012: October 31st (Wednesday) Not w/ You're not elected (sad year)
2011: October 27th (Thursday) w/ you're not elected
 

LinusFan303

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