Apple snagged a whole group of stars in its latest get for its upcoming streaming service. According to a report by Variety, Apple signed a deal with Canadian broadcaster DHX Media to produce new content featuring the Peanuts gang, Charles M. Schulz’s band of friends including Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the lovable beagle Snoopy.
Under the deal, DHX and its subsidiary, Peanuts Worldwide, will produce “original series, specials, and shorts” based on the characters from Schultz’s iconic comic strip. Some of that content will be STEM related and feature astronaut Snoopy, a product of a partnership between Peanuts Worldwide and NASA. The two companies recently came together through a Space Act Agreement to inspire a passion for space and STEM-related fields in kids.
In 2017, DHX Media acquired a majority stake in Peanuts Worldwide through a $345 million deal, which also included total control over Strawberry Shortcake. The Schultz family owns the remaining stake in Peanuts Worldwide.
Charles M. Schulz introduced Charlie Brown, Snoopy, and the rest of the gang in a newspaper comic strip back in 1950. The comic strip outgrew its print home as its characters gained immense popularity, making their way into films, series, and animated specials like It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown that still air today.
This is the latest high-profile partnership to come from Apple’s search for original and exclusive content with which to populate its forthcoming streaming service. Set to launch in the first half of 2019, the service will compete with Netflix, Hulu, and the like, and Apple has been on a quest to create and find content that will make the service competitive while also fitting into Apple’s company vision.
Maintaining that balance isn’t as easy of a task as it may sound. While Apple reportedly wants to stay away from “gratuitous sex, profanity, and violence,” it has also signed deals with companies like A24 studio, a production company that has produced movies including Moonlight, Ex Machina, Lady Bird, and others. Apple has also reportedly axed and changed the direction of a few projects that it deemed too risqué for its intended audience.
But the Peanuts gang is undoubtedly well-suited for Apple’s streaming service, providing iconic characters for fun, family-friendly content. It’s currently unclear how Apple will structure its streaming service—how much it will cost and which devices it will be available on are still unknown details. However, we can expect to learn more sometime in the first half of 2019.