Sábado Gigante, the top variety show on Spanish language television, will air its final episode later this year after more than five decades on the air.
Known for its mix of zany acts, contests and musical performances, the weekly program led by host Mario Kreutzberger was the longest-running variety show in TV history.
The show is ending because Kreutzberger decided it was time to move on with his career, according to a source at Univision. He will continue to work for the network, hosting entertainment specials and TeletonUSA, an annual telethon to raise money for disabled children.
A representative of Kreutzberger did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reason for the show’s end.
“To all those who joined us by tuning in to ‘Sábado Gigante’ with their constructive criticism, work and loyalty, I would like to say from the bottom of my heart and in capital letters, THANK YOU VERY MUCH,” Kreutzberger, also known as Don Francisco, said in a statement Friday.
Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision Communications, praised Kreutzberger and the show in Unvision’s statement. “Mario is one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world and has been an innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career… For so many in the Spanish-speaking community, Don Francisco’s weekly three-hour show defines Saturday evening entertainment.”
Sábado Gigante will air its final episode Sept. 19.