December 25, 2013

FROM THE ARCHIVES : WHEN WHAT THEY NEEDED WAS SOMETHING MORE OLD:

The Gospel According to Peanuts: How A Charlie Brown Christmas almost didn't happen (Lee Habeeb, 11/25/11, National Review)

We learned in that American Masters series that Schulz had some ideas of his own for the Christmas special, ideas that didn't make the network suits very happy. First and foremost, there was no laugh track, something unimaginable in that era of television. Schulz thought that the audience should be able to enjoy the show at its own pace, without being cued when to laugh. CBS created a version of the show with a laugh track added, just in case Schulz changed his mind. Luckily, he didn't.

The second big battle was waged over voiceovers. The network executives were not happy that the Schulz's team had chosen to use children to do the voice acting, rather than employing adults. Indeed, in this remarkable world created by Charles Schulz, we never hear the voice of an adult.

The executives also had a problem with the jazz soundtrack by Vince Guaraldi. They thought the music would not work well for a children's program, and that it distracted from the general tone. They wanted something more . . . well . . . young.

Last but not least, the executives did not want to have Linus reciting the story of the birth of Christ from the Gospel of Luke. The network orthodoxy of the time assumed that viewers would not want to sit through passages of the King James Bible.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Posted by at December 25, 2013 12:55 AM
  

blog comments powered by Disqus
« FROM THE ARCHIVES: "REASON FOR MAKING MERRY" | Main | FROM THE ARCHIVES : THE EVERYMAN SAINT: »