“A Charlie Brown Christmas,” which is scheduled to air twice during the holiday season this year on ABC, has been a perennial holiday favorite since its first airing in 1965. Even though the special is now available on DVD, watching the programs’s yearly television airings remain part of a cherished family tradition for millions of families.
The special was originally aired by CBS, and was acquired by ABC in 2001 after 35 years on CBS. According to executive producer Lee Mendelson, the ABC network made a firm commitment to the Charlie Brown franchise, agreeing to air the special and its counterparts — the “Peanuts” Halloween and Thanksgiving specials — multiple times during the holiday season. This, Mendelson says, helped to resurrect the entire “Peanuts” franchise.
The first airing of “A Charlie Brown Christmas” this season fared quite well in the ratings, garnering 8 million viewers. This was its best ratings result in four years. When the special is broadcast again on December 18 at 8/7 central time, it is expected to perform well again.
Mendelson likens the Charlie Brown franchise to a Super Bowl tradition: Every year, entire families gather to watch the classic holiday story — and this is one tradition that appears to be growing ever more popular.
Category: Television Programming