New York, NY — Peanuts Worldwide, the newly formed joint venture between Iconix Brand Group (NASDAQ:ICON) and Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates today announced that it has signed a new five year deal with ABC Network for the popular PEANUTS animated holiday specials. The beloved Emmy Award winning specials, including the iconic “A Charlie Brown Christmas,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving” and “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” created by Charles M. Schulz and produced and animated by Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez, began airing on ABC in December 2001.
“The PEANUTS holiday TV specials are iconic and represent a family tradition of watching Charlie Brown and the gang kick off the holiday season,” stated Neil Cole, CEO, Iconix Brand Group. Cole added, “This new deal with ABC demonstrates the continued relevance of the PEANUTS brand as it celebrates its 60th anniversary.”This fall, the famed PEANUTS comic strip will celebrate its 60th anniversary. The first and most well known of the beloved animated holiday specials, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” first aired on television in 1965, marking this year as its 45th anniversary.
Since moving to ABC nine years ago, the specials have continually delivered stellar ratings for the Network. Against competition including the season finale of NBC’s “Biggest Loser,” ABC’s rebroadcast of the animated holiday classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas” finished a strong No. 2 in its half-hour in Adults 18-49 (3.7/11), beating slot-regulars CBS’ “NCIS” replay by 37% (2.7/8) and Fox’s original “So You Think You Can Dance” by 61% in Adults 18-49 (2.3/7). The Charlie Brown special towered over its slot with Kids 2-11, topping the combined delivery of CBS, Fox, NBC and CW in the half-hour by 42% (5.9/18 vs. 4.2/13), and finished as the No. 2 TV show of the night behind only its lead-out, ABC’s debut of “Prep & Landing.” Versus the year-ago night with original programming (“AFV” special on 12/9/08), “A Charlie Brown Christmas” boosted the time period year to year for ABC by 4.2 million viewers (11.2 million vs. 7.0 million) and by 95% in Adults 18-49 (3.7/11 vs. 1.9/5). The PEANUTS special was up year to year in Total Viewers and held even with Adults 18-49 (11.0 million and 3.7/10 on 12/8/08).
On October 2nd, 1950 the PEANUTS comic strip launched in seven American newspapers. Who would have guessed the impact the brand would have around the world for decades to come. Nearly 60 years later, the comic strip appears in over 2,200 newspapers, in 75 countries and 21 languages. PEANUTS animated specials have become a seasonal tradition and thousands of consumer products are available in virtually all retail channels. Charlie Brown kicking the football, Linus and his blanket and Lucy leaning over Schroeder’s piano are images to which everyone can relate. Phrases such as “Security Blanket” and “Good Grief” have become a part of the global vernacular.
The PEANUTS characters and related intellectual property are owned by Peanuts Worldwide LLC, a joint venture owned 80% by Iconix Brand Group, Inc. and 20% by members of the Charles M. Schulz family. Iconix Brand Group, Inc. (NASDAQ:ICON) owns, licenses and markets a growing portfolio of consumer brands including CANDIE’S (R), BONGO (R), BADGLEY MISCHKA (R), JOE BOXER (R), RAMPAGE (R), MUDD (R), LONDON FOG (R), MOSSIMO (R), OCEAN PACIFIC(R), DANSKIN (R), ROCA WEAR(R), CANNON (R), ROYAL VELVET (R), FIELDCREST (R), CHARISMA (R), STARTER (R) and WAVERLY (R). In addition, Iconix owns an interest in the ARTFUL DODGER (R), ED HARDY (R), ECKO (R), MARC ECKO (R), ZOO YORK (R), MATERIAL GIRL(TM), and PEANUTS brands. The Company licenses its brands to a network of leading retailers and manufacturers that touch every major segment of retail distribution from the luxury market to the mass market in both the U.S. and worldwide. Through its in-house business development, merchandising, advertising and public relations departments Iconix manages its brands to drive greater consumer awareness and equity.