Halloween is round the corner and it means the air date for the beloved holiday special “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" is here too. The annually aired classic, which was created by cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in 1966, will return to the small screen on Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m. EDT on ABC for the animated Halloween special's 50th anniversary.
The Emmy-nominated series will air for one hour before the final presidential debate on ABC. The series first aired on CBS on Oct. 27, 1966, launching an annual broadcast of the Peanuts special before ABC picked up airing rights.
It all begins with the Peanuts gang preparing for Halloween and rolls on as Charlie Brown, Lucy and the others anticipate a candy-filled night of trick or treating. During this time, Lucy's younger brother Linus begins to write his annual letter to The Great Pumpkin, something that confuses Charlie Brown.
"It blew our minds," Lee Mendelson, the show's producer and longtime Charles Schulz collaborator, told SFGATE about the show's success. "We had no idea that was going to happen.
"[Animator] Bill Melendez did very beautiful watercolors emphasizing the fall season," Mendelson said. "The fact that he had Snoopy finally climbing the doghouse as an airplane, the jokes about dropping rocks in poor Charlie Brown's trick-or-treat bag, and Vince Guaraldi's music of course — I think all those are why 'The Great Pumpkin' gets the same high rating as the Christmas show every year."
“It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown” was the third special, based on Schulz comic strip “Peanuts,” to be produced and animated. It was nominated for three Emmy Awards in 1967, including outstanding children’s program.