Peanuts is a syndicated daily and Sunday American comic strip written and illustrated by Charles M. Schulz, which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. The comic strip is the most popular and influential in the history of comic strips, with 17,897 strips published in all, making it "arguably the longest story ever told by one human being". At its peak in the mid to late 1960's, Peanuts ran in over 2,600 newspapers, with a readership of around 355 million in 75 countries, and was translated into 21 languages It helped to cement the four-panel gag strip as the standard in the United States and together with its merchandise earned Schulz more than $1 billion. Reprints of the strip are still syndicated and run in almost every U.S. newspaper.
The strip focuses entirely on a social circle of young children, where adults exist but are rarely seen or heard. The main character, Charlie Brown, is meek, nervous, and lacks self-confidence. He is unable to fly a kite, win a baseball game, or kick a football held by his irascible friend Lucy, who always pulls it away at the last instant.
Peanuts is one of the literate strips with philosophical, psychological, and sociological overtones that flourished in the 1950's. The strip's humor (at least during its '60's peak) is psychologically complex, and the characters' interactions formed a tangle of relationships that drove the strip.
Peanuts achieved considerable success with its television specials, several of which, including A Charlie Brown Christmas and It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown won or were nominated for Emmy Awards. The Peanuts holiday specials remain popular and are currently broadcast on ABC in the U.S. during the corresponding seasons. The Peanuts franchise met acclaim in theatre, with the stage musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown being a successful and often-performed production.
In 2013, TV Guide ranked the Peanuts television specials the fourth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time. A computer-animated feature film based on the strip, The Peanuts Movie, was released on November 6, 2015.