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ABC will be the home of the classic holiday specials with Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang through the end of the decade. The network said that it will continue airing the specials through 2020.
ABC announced Friday that it signed a deal with Peanuts Worldwide LLC and Lee Mendelson Film Productions to extend their relationship, which began in December 2001. The pact includes all the Emmy winning classics produced by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez: A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, It’s The Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and A Charlie Brown Christmas.
The iconic Christmas special first aired in 1965 and won a Primetime Emmy. It celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015.
“We are thrilled that our 13 year association with ABC will now extend to 20 years” executive producer Lee Mendelson said in a statement. “The network has shown us tremendous support from the start, including restoring the original length to our holiday shows. Charlie Brown and Snoopy are dancing today!”
ABC notes that the specials only continue to draw more viewers each year. The network boasted that in 2012, the Christmas special drew a 2.9 18-49 rating, topping Fox’s The X Factor and NBC’s Christmas at Rockefeller Center.
Although creator Charles M. Schulz died in 2000, the Peanuts strip still runs in newspapers around the country. Schulz ranked third on Forbes’ richest dead celebrities list, behind only pop stars Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley. 20th Century Fox is also planning a 3D animated film for 2015.