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A Charlie Brown Christmas

There are just a few Christmas specials that draw me in every year..and Charlie Brown Christmas is one of them.

For some people – it’s just not Christmas without Charlie Brown. It turns out, if TV executives had their way back in 1965 – the Peanuts’ Christmas Classic would never have aired.

They liked the IDEA of animating the Peanuts characters for a special – but when they saw the finished product they were not impressed. They hated some of the things that most of us love about it. There was not enough action and it moved too slowly. The voices had been done by real kids – not adult actors. And there was no laugh track to cue the chuckles – which left the TV executive squirming. After previewing the show – they decided Peanuts would be better off left on the comic page of the newspaper.

Luckily for us – CBS had made a commitment to their sponsor – and had to air the special as scheduled on December 9th, 1965. It drew 15.4 million viewers and ended up second place in the ratings that week. A few months later – Charles Schulz and Lee Mendelson were onstage accepting an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

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