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October 20, 2014

History of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' (VIDEO)

by Elizabeth Chan, posted Dec 10th 2009 11:10AM
A Charlie Brown ChristmasThe TV holiday season would be incomplete without a chance to watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.'

Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of creator Charles M. Schulz's first animated television special with the Peanuts Gang. It's the longest running cartoon special in history.

Find our more and watch the full 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' special after the jump!A Charlie Brown ChristmasThe TV holiday season would be incomplete without a chance to watch 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.'

Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of creator Charles M. Schulz's first animated television special with the Peanuts Gang. It's the longest running cartoon special in history.

We honor this milestone with some fun facts you may or may not have known:

• The special was initially sponsored by and made for Coca-Cola. The original cartoon, which included scenes of Linus crashing into a Coca-Cola sign and other references to the beverage, have since been edited out. The uncut version has not been seen on-air since 1967.

• Some of the child actors who played the voices of the Peanuts gang didn't know how to read. Producers would dictate shorter lines and have the children repeat them back during the recording. Often times longer scenes would require splicing of shorter lines in post-production, explaining the fragmented audio feel of the special.

• 50 percent of all televisions in the United States were tuned into the first broadcast of 'A Charlie Brown Christmas.'

• Network executives at CBS, which aired the special from 1965 until 2000, originally wanted to remove Linus' recital of the birth of Christ. Schulz insisted on keeping the scene to ensure someone talked about the meaning of Christmas.

• In 2000, a month before Schulz died, the rights to the special were bought by ABC, its broadcasting home ever since.

'A Charlie Brown Christmas' sure has come a long way: You can now watch it on your computer!

Watch the full 'A Charlie Brown Christmas' special on Slash Control!

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