December 9, 1965
The Making of A Charlie Brown Christmas…
Certain decisions made by Schulz, Mendelson, and Melendez, especially helped to secure the enduring legacy of A Charlie Brown Christmas. This included using real children’s voices for the characters, forgoing use of a laugh track, and a jazz music score. Schulz also insisted that Linus would recite scripture from the Gospel According to Saint Luke, despite outside concerns that this would alienate a percentage of the audience.
Prior to the premiere of A Charlie Brown Christmas, Coca-Cola, the official sponsor, worried that the show was too slow and lacked interest. Those fears were quelled, however, after the special not only garnered excellent ratings the night of its debut, but also went on to receive Peabody and Emmy awards. A Charlie Brown Christmas is now considered a holiday classic for many. It continues to air on American broadcast television every year, and is available in re-mastered editions on DVD.