via press release:
“SÁBADO GIGANTE – ¡HASTA SIEMPRE!” FINAL SHOW CELEBRATES AN UNPRECEDENTED ACHIEVEMENT IN TELEVISION HISTORY
The celebration starts at 8 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central) on Saturday, September 19 broadcasting LIVE simultaneously, for the first time, in U.S., Chile and Mexico
MIAMI, FL – SEPTEMBER 16, 2015 – After 53 years, the final episode of Univision Network’s “Sábado Gigante” will get a star-studded send-off in a “giant” celebration truly worthy of its name. The live, three-hour show entitled “Sábado Gigante – ¡Hasta Siempre!” (Giant Saturday – Forever!) will offer viewers an emotion-filled evening celebrating the work of host Mario Kreutzberger, known the world over as Don Francisco, and his entire cast and production team who have made “Sábado Gigante” a Saturday night tradition in millions of Hispanic homes around the world. “Sábado Gigante – Hasta Siempre” will air coast-to-coast on the Univision Network starting at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central), and, for the first time, will be broadcast live by satellite to Chile and Mexico.
In addition to Don Francisco, program regulars Javier Romero, Carlos McConnie, and spokesmodels Alina Robert, Vanessa de Roide, Aleyda Ortiz, and Rosina Grosso will welcome performances by many of the distinguished artists who got their start on the show including Luis Fonsi, Espinoza Paz, Paulina Rubio, Enrique Iglesias, Juanes, El Grupo Intocable, Prince Royce, Laura Pausini, and a special number by reggaeton icon Daddy Yankee live from his concert at Madison Square Garden. Other stars appearing to offer their well wishes will be Shakira and Marc Anthony. In addition, Gloria Estefan will debut a song co-written with her husband, Emilio Estefan, especially for the evening’s festivities entitled “Hasta Siempre” (Forever).
Other special segments include an emotional but predictably funny “good-bye” from Gloria Benavides as her much beloved character “La Cuatro,” as well as a special, surprise-filled talent contest featuring audience favorite “El Chacal de la Trompeta.” And in a fitting salute to the program’s tradition of games and prize giveaways, for the first time in the show, three brand new automobiles will be given to three lucky participants.
The live studio audience, always an integral part of every show, will play an especially large role as hundreds of additional audience members will witness the final broadcast outside on giant screens in grandstands lining the specially constructed Golden Carpet. Acting as hosts on the Golden Carpet will be popular Chilean telenovela and movie star Cristian de la Fuente and “La Banda” host, and former “Sábado Gigante” spokesmodel, Alejandra Espinoza.
Numerous recognitions will also be bestowed on Don Francisco by various dignitaries, including one from the Congress of the United States presented by Congresswoman Iliana Ross-Lehtinen, the Pan American Health Organization recognition with Champion of Health award, and Carlos Martinez will present a Guinness World Record certification for the 4th time to “Sábado Gigante” as the longest-running weekly variety show with the same name and host. In addition, Univision News anchor Jorge Ramos will recognize “Sábado Gigante” for its immense contribution and importance to the Hispanic community in the United States.
“It is with great pride that I bring this historic run of ‘Sábado Gigante’ to an end after 53 years, in which I have felt privileged and proud to be the on-camera representative of the work of thousands of journalists, producers, technicians, assistants, screenwriters and many hardworking collaborators. Thanks to all of them, to Channel 13 in Chile, to Univision in the U.S. and to Televisa for the rest of the Spanish-speaking world, I have had the honor of reaching the homes of millions of families over more than five decades with the program, which has left an indelible mark on my personal history and on the history of television in the world,” said the iconic TV host Don Francisco.
“I don’t think there is any doubt that Don Francisco, more than anyone else, has made Sábado ‘gigante,’ and has had a tremendous impact in the television industry in the United States,” said Alberto Ciurana, president of Programming and Content for Univision Network. “He and his incredible team of television professionals have worked tirelessly to create more than a TV program, but a beloved institution for many generations of Hispanic families and at Univision we could not be prouder to have been a part of this historic run.”
To conclude the evening’s celebration, Don Francisco will offer some final words of appreciation to his staff, cast, special guests, and the viewing public before taking a final bow on the Golden Carpet before his adoring fans.