One of the most interesting sections of the new Charles Schulz biography Schultz and Peanuts by David Michaels is the reaction by network executives after screening the animated television feature A Charlie Brown Christmas for the first time a few months before it aired originally on December 9, 1965.
"Too slow," said the first, "and the script is too innocent." "The Bible thing scares us," said the other. The animation was crude–couldn’t it be jazzed up a bit? The voice talent was unprofessional–they should have used adults. The music didn’t fit–who ever heard of a jazz score on an animated special? And where were the laughs?
Today it’s hard to remember a television Christmas season without A Charlie Brown Christmas. It won an Emmy and arguably television’s most coveted award, the Foster Peabody. It became a classic. The suits thought it was a little "flat."