Wednesday, December 2, 2009

"A Charlie Brown Christmas"?

At a media preview of an ice sculpture display honoring "A Charlie Brown Christmas" in Nashville, the executive producer of the annual Christmas special talked about the events surrounding its inception.

According to Lee Mendelson, Coca-Cola contacted CBS and inquired about purchasing a Christmas special; CBS called Mr. Mendelson to ask if he and Charles Shultz were working on one and ever the producer, Lee said yes. He then called Mr. Shultz and told him that Coca-Cola was interested, so he should immediately start working on an outline which they sent via Western Union to Coca-Cola, the following Monday.

All together, Mr. Mendelson's story of the first Charlie Brown special is quite interesting and the fact that CBS didn't particularly like it is a good anecdote to tell, the next time it airs.

But, when the commercialization of Christmas became the underlying theme - Was Charles Shultz thinking more about society at large, or was the idea born from the idea that he was writing a Christmas special at the request of a soft drink company?
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