Spanish language ‘Sabado Gigante’ ends 53-year run

Univision Network will have a giant hole in its Saturday night line-up - “Sabado Gigante,” its top-rated variety show, will be going off the air after a record-breaking 53 years, the broadcaster said on Friday. Created and hosted by Chile-born Don Francisco since 1962, “Sabado Gigante,” or “Giant Saturday,” is the No. 1 rated show on Saturday night among U.S. Hispanics and is the longest running TV variety show in the world, according to Guinness World Records.

From the start we made sure to ask, 'What does the audience want?’ And we have worked tirelessly for precisely that audience, with the utmost dedication, humility and deep respect.

Host Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, better know by his stage name Don Francisco

With its mix of humor, talent contests, family reunions, celebrities and musical acts packed into a frenetically paced three-hour program, “Sabado Gigante” has been a staple of television throughout Latin America, as well as an object of scorn for intellectuals and comedians. The last show will run on Sept. 19 this year and Don Francisco, whose real name is Mario Kreutzberger, will host entertainment specials and help develop on-air talent at the Miami-based network, which took on “Sabado Gigante” 30 years ago. No reason was given for the decision to end the show.