MIAMI – “Sabado Gigante,” the world’s longest-running variety show on television with 53 years on the air and which is hosted by Chile’s Don Francisco, will come to an end next September, the U.S. Spanish-language network Univision announced Friday.
“After an extraordinary run, Univision’s most popular variety program, ‘Sabado Gigante’ (Giant Saturday), will close its current season next Sept. 19,” Univision said in a communique.
The media company said nonetheless that Mario Luis Kreutzberger, known as Don Francisco, “will continue collaborating with Univision on new projects and hosting special entertainment programs and campaigns like “TeletonUSA.”
The program was created in Chile in 1962 when Mario Kreutzberger, born in Chile in 1940, launched what was then called “Sabados Gigantes,” a live eight-hour program. Over the years, he became the most popular show host in Hispanic America.
In 1986, “Sabado Gigante” began shooting in Miami for the U.S. Latino audience and for six years kept the two versions of the program, until it was decided to produce it totally in the Univision studios, from where it has been distributed to 43 countries.
An Univision spokesperson told Efe that the decision to cancel the show was taken by mutual agreement between the company and Don Francisco, adding that audience ratings remain excellent.