Christmas TV Specials: A Charlie Brown Christmas

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In the 1960s and 1970s, a number of animated TV specials were made. Those of us who grew up then fondly remember watching them. Even today they continue to be shown to the delight of children of all ages.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first TV special to be based on a comic strip.

Peanuts by Charles M. Schultz was a big hit when it debuted in the 1950s.

Charles Schultz with the Charlie Brown cast

In the mid-1960s Coca-Cola commissioned and sponsored the special, which took an unconventional approach in hiring child actors to voice the characters. The special was completed just ten days before it’s broadcast premier on December 9, 1965.

The special focused on the true meaning of Christmas.

While CBS initially premiered the special and showed it for many years, ABC has held the broadcast rights since 2000.

In 2015, a two hour special was held to honor the show’s 50th birthday.

The 1965 special won both an Emmy and Peabody Award.

While the aluminum tree was a fad from 1958-1965, the popularity of the show eliminated the use of them.

The Christmas special went on the inspire numerous other Charlie Brown specials including It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown; A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving; It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown!; By My Valentine, Charlie Brown; and You’re the Greatest, Charlie Brown.

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