How ABC Ruined A Charlie Brown Christmas
Posted 12-08-2009 at 09:29 PM by TnAdct1
Usually, I prefer to use my blog to talk about things going on in my life. However, given how upset I am about this subject, I need to vent my feelings in this blog.
Earlier tonight, ABC broadcasted a special that is a major holiday tradition for many people in the United States: A Charlie Brown Christmas. For years, ABC has been aware of how this special has been made in the 1960's, a time where there was less time for commercials. Hence, to allow the special to be shown in its entirety, ABC devoted an hour to the special (with the special being accompanied by newly animated bits based on various Peanuts comic strips). However, this year, along with the hour-long version (which will air next week), ABC also decided to air a half-hour version of the special to accompany the new "Prep and Landing" Xmas special, and the end result is a major disaster.
To begin, I need to mention that back when I was a child, when CBS aired A Charlie Brown Christmas, there was a time where the channel would air the special without a certain scene in which the kids would try to knock a can off a fence with snowballs. Like the cuts that were made to the special this year, this was done due to how TV programs had more commercial time in later years (of course, said scene would be added back to the special in 1994).
Well, like the CBS airings in the 1980's and early 1990's, the "can" scene was cut from this half-hour version of the special. However, that's just a start of the serious amount of butchering that ABC did to A Charlie Brown Christmas just to fit it into a half-hour slot in this day and age. The bit where the kids are trying to catch snowflakes on their tounges? Gone. The bit where Sally tries to get Charlie Brown to help write a letter to Santa Claus? Gone. The bit where Lucy asks Schroeder if he knows how to play Jingle Bells? Gone. In other words, a number of classic moments from this special were cut from this half-hour version of the special.
Now, I know full well that the special will be broadcasted in its hour-long format next week (and I do plan to watch that). However, the way ABC treated the special tonight feels like an absolute insult to Peanuts fans all over the world. Basically, this special only comes on twice a year, and when it comes to the classics, many people who grew up watching them would want to see them the way they were intentionally aired (without the sponser pieces that were common in 1960's TV, of course), not a version that is butchered in order to fit a half-hour time slot that has more commercial time than in the 1960's.
I really hope that this is a "one time only" thing, and that ABC will learn from this disaster that A Charlie Brown Christmas needs to be aired the way it should be aired: uncut.