'A Charlie Brown Christmas' Is Now Streaming Online For Free

A Charlie Brown Christmas has been the subject of controversy this year, with many fans disappointed that the film would not be airing on its usual home of ABC. The movie, however, will be available to watch online for free from Friday, December 11 until the end of the weekend. PBS Kids will also air the special this weekend, the one time it will air on TV in 2020.

The Peanuts special's new home is now Apple TV+, which also is the new home for It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. Though this means that most of the year the specials are only available to subscribers, each special in 2020 has been made available for free for everyone to watch from December 11 to 13.

To watch A Charlie Brown Christmas online for free this weekend, all viewers have to do is visit the special's page on the Apple TV+ website and click on "play." Users then have to log-in with their Apple ID (or make a new one), and put in credit card details. This card will not be charged, however, unless viewers choose to subscribe after viewing the Peanuts holiday special.

49  A Charlie Brown Christmas
Still from 'A Charlie Brown Christmas'. A Charlie Brown Christmas: CBS

Subscriptions to Apple TV+ cost $4.99 a month or $49.99 a year after a seven-day free trial. Those who purchase a new Apple device, however, get a one year free subscription to the service. A subscription gives viewers access to the full library of Apple content, including the hit The Morning Show, the critically acclaimed new animated movie Wolfwalkers and the rest of the Peanuts sequels as well as a new Snoopy series.

Though the Christmas special will not air on ABC as usual, it is airing on TV once this Christmas. PBS Kids will air the special on Sunday, December 13 at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT.

First airing in 1965, the special aired annually on CBS for 35 years, then aired on ABC from 2000 to 2019.

It is the first-ever Peanuts special, and considered by many to be the best—in a 2018 ranking of the 45 Peanuts specials so far by Vulture, the Christmas special was ranked at the top, with the writer saying "it's the only one that simply relates the joys of a secular holiday season without shying away from Christmas's faith-based reason."

They later call it, "probably one of the most moving programs that mainstream television has produced."

A Charlie Brown Christmas is streaming now on Apple TV+.