The future of Peanuts specials on network TV - Forum.
wiley207
  • wiley207
  • Advanced Member Topic Starter
2018-10-18T02:33:48Z
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.)
Toonatic
2018-10-18T03:42:23Z
I do know that if the merger between Fox and Disney is successful, some Fox executives will move to Disney. Maybe one of them who loves the Peanuts will give them more promotion.
Justin Delbert
2018-10-18T04:42:05Z
I think ABC is done with Peanuts because they aren't a Disney property. They will probably move after 2020. CBS would be the station that might pick them up again, so we'll see.
WaltWiz1901
2018-10-19T00:30:46Z
Originally Posted by: wiley207 

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.")


You're not the only one who noticed that - they even cut out the piano scene!

Why a poorly-edited hack job manages to get higher ratings because it's what precedes Toy Story of Terror! is beyond me. There was ample space in a 30-minute timeslot to put fewer commercials and accommodate the entire special - why not just do that?
wiley207
  • wiley207
  • Advanced Member Topic Starter
2018-10-19T00:35:49Z
Originally Posted by: WaltWiz1901 


Why a poorly-edited hack job manages to get higher ratings because it's what precedes Toy Story of Terror! is beyond me. There was ample space in a 30-minute timeslot to put fewer commercials and accommodate the entire special - why not just do that?



I know, right? Why not just have "Toy Story of Terror" air at 8 PM and then have the "Great Pumpkin" follow it at 8:30, like they did so in 2013-2014? Maybe someone at ABC is trying to save the special's ratings, not that it's helping much...
TibbyH
2018-10-19T03:09:52Z
I would hope that the specials get moved to a different network that properly promotes the cartoons instead of treating it as filler. Perhaps CBS or TBS (a Time Warner owned network) would be a better place for Charlie Brown and the gang.

One thing I would really like to see is the Peanuts specials being more prevalent on streaming platforms (where, let's be honest, a majority of people are watching their content). I'm not sure if Boomerang shows the cartoons on their app since Warners owns the rights to Peanuts TV specials. It'd be cool seeing them handle the content since the app has been doing surprisingly well.

I would really love to see these classics continue to be shown and loved for generations, and they most likely will but they just need the right audience.
Toonatic
2018-10-19T03:10:40Z
Because money. I agree with everyone here; holiday specials must be presented uncut, no time-compression, and limited commercial interruptions and if I was in charge of the major networks I do just that because my goal is to make viewers happy. By my count, doing that is a total of 5 months out of the year. You're making a lot of money for 7 months (that's two extra months) so what is the harm of doing what we all want. Plus, you'll get more viewership and ratings. ;)

But again, we have the rebroadcast to look forward to.
nickramer
2018-10-19T04:47:02Z
Maybe they could just show it once a year instead of twice in two different forms.
wiley207
  • wiley207
  • Advanced Member Topic Starter
2018-10-24T18:56:14Z
Originally Posted by: nickramer 

Maybe they could just show it once a year instead of twice in two different forms.



If they do, they'll probably just go with the edited and time-compressed version as a lead-in to "Toy Story of Terror," especially since they just use the uncut hour-long version as filler material on a random night near Halloween where nothing new is scheduled in that timeslot.