Mindy Hardwick's Blog

Author Mindy Hardwick Muses about Writing

Charlie Brown Christmas

on December 20, 2010

It moves too slow.

There is not enough action.

The voices are done by real kids and not adult actors.

One of the characters reads something which, at the time, could not be read on TV.

There was no laugh track.

And  just what story received these comments?

Charlie Brown Christmas. (Linus read a section of the Gospel of Luke) When CBS previewed, A Charlie Brown Christmas, they were very unimpressed. However, CBS could not back down. They had made a commitment to their sponsor, so they aired the special as scheduled on December 9, 1965.  And what happened?

A Charlie Brown Christmas drew in 15.4 million viewers, and a few months later, Charles Schulz and Lee Mendelson found themselves onstage accepting an Emmy Award for Outstanding Children’s Program.

As I read this story, I think that it speaks to those of us writing for children in a market that sometimes seems very overcrowded with more of the same. At this time, we need to remember that in the face “it doesn’t look or sound like everything else,”  that could very well be a good thing! And that sometimes, those things that don’t look or sound the same are exactly what people are wanting to read.

Happy Holidays!




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