US & Canada

Univision cancels long-running Sabado Gigante

Mario Kreutzberger Image copyright AP
Image caption Mario Kreutzberger, creator and host

A television variety show much loved among Hispanics in the US is to end after 53 years.

Sabado Gigante, broadcast by Spanish language network Univision, will have its final show programme in September.

The three-hour show drew more than two million US viewers on Saturday nights, and was also broadcast to more than a dozen countries in Latin America.

It was created by Mario Kreutzberger, 74, a Chilean who plays the grinning presenter on the show, Don Francisco.

No reason was given for the move but more details will be revealed on Saturday, an unnamed spokesman for the network told Associated Press news agency.

The network said Don Francisco will continue to work on special programmes and a charity television event that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for disabled children.

The show blends comedy, talent contests, interviews and human-interest stories and has been family viewing for decades.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Sabado Gigante, or Giant Saturday in English, moved from Chile to Miami in 1986

Over the years, US presidents George W Bush and Barack Obama have appeared as guests and singers Enrique Iglesias and Shakira have performed.

"We join Mario's fans in wishing him all the best as he enters his next chapter", said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision.

He called Kreutzberger "one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world" and an "innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career".