As the “arms race” for original streaming content rolls on, so, too, does the war for lucrative IP. We saw it play it out in microcosm when Netflix paid $100 million to keep Friends on its platform for another year, and we’re seeing it unfold on the grand scale with Amazon’s acquisition of the Lord Of The Rings brand and Netflix’s recent announcements that it would develop expanded universes from both C.S. Lewis’ Narnia franchise and the work of children’s author Roald Dahl. Now, Apple has entered the fray by securing the rights to Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts franchise.
This comes from The Hollywood Reporter, who says that the tech juggernaut has inked a deal with DHX Media, a Canadian content company with a sizable stake in Peanuts, “to create series, specials, and shorts featuring iconic Charles M. Schulz characters such as Charlie Brown, Snoopy and the entire Peanuts gang.” Does this mean Pig-Pen gets an origin story? ‘Cause we gotta know what that kid’s been up in.
There will also be an educational component to the endeavor. Per THR: “As part of the partnership, DHX Media is also going to produce original short-form STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) content that will be exclusive to Apple and feature astronaut Snoopy.” Neat!
Schulz’s characters made their big-screen comeback in 2015 with The Peanuts Movie, and specials like A Charlie Brown Christmas and the utterly gutting Snoopy, Come Home continue to pervade the airwaves. Apple’s Peanuts content will air alongside the original children’s programming it plans to develop with the Sesame Workshop.
Apple has a number of other high-profile, family-friendly series locked and loaded, including a Jennifer Aniston- and Reese Witherspoon-starring comedy, a revival of Steven Spielberg’s Amazing Stories, and an anthology series from Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon.