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A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving also will be broadcast — once — on PBS and PBS Kids

A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
(Image credit: Apple TV+)

The Peanuts holiday specials used to be a family event. You'd wait for that time of year — be it Halloween or Thanksgiving or Christmas — and settle down in front of the TV to watch CBS show the cartoon that's closing in on 60 years old or so.

It was just one of those things you'd do every year. And now they're locked away inside Apple's walled garden. Mostly.

In what can only be considered a slight consolidation, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving — which is available to watch on Apple TV+ starting on Nov. 18 — also will broadcast at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Nov. 22 on PBS and PBS Kids.

It'll do the same for A Charlie Brown Christmas at 7:30 p.m. Eastern on Dec. 13. The special will be available on Apple TV+ from Dec. 4.

That's not the only time you'll be able to watch it for free — Apple TV is making it available to everyone Nov. 22-25. But that's as much about getting folks to sign up for Apple TV as anything else. It requires the hardware to be able to watch it — be it a web browser, Amazon Fire TV, smart TV or Apple hardware. And it requires a broadband internet connection, something far too many Americans still lack.

But broadcast TV like CBS and PBS? That's free. And so it's important that the Peanuts specials be available that way. Just like Charles Schultz intended.

For everyone else, a reminder that Apple TV+ costs $4.99 and is home to all kinds of new original content, including the excellent Ted Lasso. It's available on Apple hardware, of course, as well as in a web browser, on select smart TVs, and on Roku and Amazon Fire TV. If you buy a new Mac, iPhone or iPad, you'll get a year of Apple TV+ for free.