Univision Ends ‘Sabado Gigante’ After More Than 53 Years

'Sábado Gigante': Don Francisco Program Canceled
Courtesy of Univision

After more than 53 years, the Univision program “Sábado Gigante” will end on Sept. 19, the Spanish-language broadcaster announced Friday.

The variety show, which stars Mario Kreutzberger (known on the show as Don Francisco), launched in 1962 on Chile’s Channel 13 and has routinely been one of the most-watched show among Hispanics.

“During my 40 years in the industry I have met few people with the same energy, creativity and passion for television and the audience as Mario, and I join in celebrating him and his team at ‘Sabado Gigante’ for the great success and the milestones achieved in broadcast television,” said Randy Falco, president and CEO of Univision Communications Inc. “Mario is an important part of the Univision family, and his knowledge of the industry and commitment to innovation will help us to continue defining the future of the media industry.”

Kreutzberger will continue contributing to the Univision Network with new projects and by hosting entertainment specials and campaigns such as “TeletonUSA,” which is held every year on behalf of disabled children. He will also take part in Univision’s ongoing efforts to look for and develop new on-air talent and professionals.

“I’m excited to share with the audience this announcement, with which we’re starting to bring to a close the 53-year cycle of ‘Sábado Gigante,’ 30 of which were possible thanks to Univision in the United States,” he said. “There is no doubt that they have been fundamental in my professional development and in my personal and family life. I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Channel 13 of the Universidad Católica de Chile gave me as I was starting out, to Univision in the United States and also to the Televisa Network, which allowed us to bring our ‘Sábado Gigante’ into the homes of millions of families in the United States and the world every week.

“I have no words to thank our viewers for the support, loyalty and enthusiasm with which they have honored us through the years and which have allowed the show to become an unprecedented success in the history of this medium. Special and warm thanks to the outstanding production team, technicians, artists and behind-the-scenes collaborators, because without their efforts and sacrifice, we would have never reached this impressive goal. Over the past five decades, hundreds of professionals have been part of our ‘Sábado Gigante’ team, which allowed for the first 24 years of accolades in Chile, and the following 30 years of success in the United States and the world.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 26

Leave a Reply

26 Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

  1. I will never see Univision like before sabado gigante will be missed!

  2. Marissa Iglesias says:

    I hope he realy have peace and rest home with his family Univision will go down the hill! RIP! Cause many people like me will see that Chanel like before telemundo now is my Saturday nite!

  3. Jose Tent says:

    There would never be a show that can replace Sabado Gigante and Don Francisco.
    Univision as createful and powerfu as this media giant can be it will definitely without a shadow of a doubt
    miss Don Francisco and Sabado Gigante .
    Good Luck Don Francisco and God Bless you and your Family.

  4. carlos says:

    ,,,,,,,mmmm I dont think replacing SG with a Mexican show is a very good idea; SG really was an international show, every Latinamerican viewer got identified with it; something I doubt will happen with Sabadazo. South and Central American viewers may not find it appealing.

  5. Gloria Saenz says:

    Don Francisco
    Gracias por los muchos favores que usted nos ha hecho. Visitare su restaurante en Queens y si tengo la oportunidad de conocerlo, le agradecere personalmente por su bondad y su manera de comunicar alegria sana al entretenimiento de los muchos televidentes que lo seguimos.

  6. ITs sad, I’ve been seen this program for almost 30 years. They should let somebody else to take over the show. Its a great show. And ALOT of followers gonna miss Sabado Gigante.

  7. Irma Seda,MD says:

    Don Francisco es una perdida irreparable. Mi madre ha estado viéndolo toda la vida. Primero lo veía junto a mi padre, luego durante 12 años que lo estuvo cuidando por su Alzheimer, y lleva 6 años de muerto y como no sale al morir mi padre. Ahora está con una pena y deprimida ya que los sábados
    no tendrá que hacer. Ella le hubiera ir a conocerlo pero se enfermó la semana pasada. Espero haga
    otro programa que lo sustituya ya que deja a su púbico huérfano. Me apena no lo conociera. Dios lo bendiga siempre por su labor humanitaria y la ayuda que dio a tantos artistas que impulsó sus
    carreras. Gracias por su vida que nos ha enriquecido a todos nosotros los latinos.
    Gracias!! Muchas bendiciones en su futuro, y salud!! Irma Seda

  8. armando gaona says:

    Es una lastima que el telón se cierre,
    Mis respetos para don francisco!
    Un ser humano muy generoso,
    Como me hubiera gustado ser parte de los afottunados que gozaron la dicha de que don francisco les concediese reunirse a algún ser querido,
    Pues a mi madre no la he visto en 23 años,
    Pero igual…don francisco.. GRACIAS POR TODO Y DIOS LO BENDIGA.

  9. meche vazquez says:

    Sabado Gigante is the best tv program. I have enjoyed watching it every Saturday, I am going to miss it. Please. Don Francisco your program have a lot more to contribute to your audience, Move it to another channel. Good luck.

  10. Steve silva says:

    I have enjoyed watching Sabado Gigante very-very much and will miss it just as much.Will Clasico Sabado Gigante still be televised ? Please let me know how I can watch shows from the past! thank you !!

  11. ATTN DON FRANCISCO: Elvis Aaron Presley nacio el 8 de Enero, 1935 en Tupelo, Mississippii y fallecio el 16 de Agosto, 1977, en Memphis, Tennessee. Atentamente, Leonel Padilla

  12. REBECA says:

    FELICITO A DON FRANCISCO,LAMENTO QUE NOS DEJE..HA SIDO Y SERA EL MEJOR CONDUCTOR DEL MUNDO HISPANO, LO FELICITO POR SUS LOGROS Y SUS ACIERTOS QUE DIOS LO BENDIGA SIEMPRE MI QUERIDO COMPATRIOTA GRACIAS POR EXISTIR.

  13. Leonor seoane says:

    No simpatizo mucho con Don Francisco, pero creo q es un error cerrar el programa, hay mucha gente, demasiada diria yo, enferma, y demasiadas personas mayores q esperaban, y se entretenian los sabados, ya q no podian salir de sus casas, mientras otros si pueden salir a disfrutar sin necesitar este ni otro programa, yo se lo q hablo, pq batalle con 4 diferentes cancer, y se lo triste q es estar en casa sin nada q te entretenga, y te haga olvidar los problemas, q triste, ojala otro canal, lo coja

  14. sadie says:

    Sad very sad. Sabado Gigante was, still is, and will stop being my only reason for watching the Univision channel. I always thought: “When I get the chance I will go to Miami to be part of Sabado Gigante. I will be in the audience rising my hand for any participation. I will shake hands with Don Francisco!!” Now I know for sure that’s a dream that will never come true.

  15. carmen calafell says:

    Don Francisco me interesa saber cuanto tiempo se tarda en dar una ciudadania. Mi esposo aplico en
    2012 fue tambien ya a la entrevista de los civic y el ingles en el 2013 y paso y ya hemos preguntado en el 2014 y tambien ahora en el 2015 y le dicen que tiene que seguir esperando.

  16. hector says:

    Me gustaria conentar hacerca del. Del sangron wse que no veia nada paraxque ba al show y no comenta. Mejor que se quede en su casa

  17. Claudia perez says:

    :(

  18. walter kestler says:

    This is not a comment, I have 2 questions only: How the name DON FRANCISCO is born, and also what the name LA CUATRO means.

    • Pablo Jimenez says:

      The Don Francisco moniker comes from a comic skit that Mario Kreutzberger used to play at community events from one of the synagogues in Santiago, Chile. According to one of Kreutzberger’s memoirs, Don Francisco (Mr. Francisco) was an old jewish geezer that made fun of his own deeds and he decided to use the moniker when he started the TV show.

      La Cuatro is short for La Cuatro Dientes (Four Teeth). Gloria Benavides (the actress and comedienne behind the character) created the character based on the deprived population of Chile from the ’60s and ’70s, that had no access to dental health treatmens. The make-up for La Cuatro before she arrived to Miami included some tooth blackening and she spoke with a thick Chilean working class accent. I don’t know the reasons behind the changes made to the character, but I presume Univisión didn’t want to display Latino characters in that way.

    • Jason says:

      La Cuatro means The Four. Don Francisco, now that I have no idea. Ive been wondering the same thing for over 20 years.

  19. They should have had a replacement.. It would be tough, but its smarter.. Sabado Gigante is an institution..

    Terrible decision..

  20. Muy Triste en Hollywood!

  21. John Smith says:

    This articles says nothing about the bad ratings it was getting.

More TV News from Variety

Loading