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JPTV: What I'm Watching Tonight

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LEE MENDELSON PRODUCTIONS,INC.

Why are there not more Thanksgiving holiday specials? (I’m not talking parades or football, but specials aired before the holiday.) It’s no Christmas, maybe, but it’s no slouch: a four-day weekend holiday of Americana and overeating. Is it a market-driven thing? No one gives Thanksgiving presents, so the advertisers aren’t there for Turkey Day specials?

In any case, while the Peanuts Christmas special reigns supreme, I also have a soft spot for A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. (Though it’s still jarring to see it air on ABC, not CBS, and without Dolly Madison Zingers commercials. But I am an old, old man.) There’s no New Testament speech or wistful ice-skating scenes, but there are such ’70s-heyday Peanuts gang characters as Peppermint Patty, Marcie and Franklin. And toast. Lots of toast.

What I’m curious to see, but you’ll probably skip, is He’s a Bully, Charlie Brown, which airs immediately after. Based on a pitch Charles Schulz made shortly before his death, it first aired last year, but somehow I missed it. If the word Flashbeagle still sends chills down your spine, you probably avoid later Peanuts specials, and you’re probably right to, but I’m enough of a completist to be curious.

In this one, Charlie Brown has a showdown at summer camp with a bully who’s swindled little Rerun Van Pelt out of his marbles. Meanwhile, Peppermint Patty gets wind that Marcie has been hanging out with Charlie Brown at camp and becomes jealous. Jealous of Marcie, I’m sure.

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