For the month of December I’ll be posting what I have found to be the best book, podcast, TV show, and movie of the year.
A reassuring and thoroughly researched guide to maintaining a high quality of life—from resilient old age to the first inklings of a serious illness to the final breath—by the New York Times bestselling author of Knocking on Heaven’s Door.
A Halloween special, it was the third Peanuts special (and second holiday-themed special, following A Charlie Brown Christmas) to be produced and animated by Bill Melendez. It was also the first Peanuts special to use the titular pattern of a short phrase, followed by “Charlie Brown”, a pattern which would remain the norm for almost all subsequent Peanutsspecials.
Its initial broadcast took place on October 27, 1966, on CBS, preempting My Three Sons. The original sponsors were Coca-Cola, the original sponsor of A Charlie Brown Christmas, and the Dolly Madison brand of baked snack foods, which would go on to be a longtime co-sponsor of the Peanuts specials on CBS. CBS re-aired the special annually through 2000, with ABC picking up the rights beginning in 2001, where it now airs annually during the Halloween season.
The program was nominated for a 1966 Emmy Award. It has been issued on home video several times, including a Remastered Deluxe Edition of the special released by Warner Home Video on September 2, 2008, with the bonus feature It’s Magic, Charlie Brown which was released in 1981. To celebrate its 40th anniversary, a retrospective book was published in 2006. It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown: The Making of a Television Classic includes the entire script, never-before-seen photographs, storyboard excerpts, and interviews with the original child actors who provided the voices of the Peanuts gang.