Mental Floss looks at the “real story” behind the holiday TV staple A Charlie Brown Christmas, a show that CBS executives initially didn’t like:
There was just so much wrong with it. There was not enough action. It moved too slow. The voices had been done by real kids, not adult actors. There was no laugh track. And Linus read from the Gospel of Luke in one scene. (“You can’t read from the Bible on network television!” they declared in unison.) At the end of the meeting, [animator Bill] Mendelson was told: “Well, you gave it a good shot. Believe me, we’re big Peanuts fans, but maybe it’s better suited to the comic page.”
That slow, Bible-quoting cartoon is now the longest-running holiday special on television.