Hola. Univisión (pronounced: uniβiˈsjo̞n. It’s an español word for an español language network. Only español-illiterate idiots pronounce it “You-nah-vision”) announced months ago that they are cancelling their longest running programme and the longest-running television variety show in history, Sábado Gigante, with the last show being on 19 de septiembre 2015.
I’ve read the reasons they’ve stated for ending the programme, but I don’t believe most of them considering what I know about cut-throat and back-stabbing Univisión. (At that network, an employee can be there one day and gone the next without any notice, which doesn’t seem quite legal to me.) The one reason I do believe that the network gave for the cancellation is that the show has trouble attracting younger viewers. Well of course that’s the case because younger viewers are glued to and addicted to their
smartphones stupidphones. And tech/stupidphones have been and continue to be heavily promoted and advertised on the network. Considering the level of stupidphone addiction I see, it’s surprising that anyone is watching any of their shows, or that any network has any viewers. Yes Univisión, keep promoting those stupidphones and you’ll end up with no audience at all! (Related: Smartphones are transforming society into a sea of stupid).
But the real reason I think they’re ending the programme is because they’re embarrassed by it, because of what it is. It’s a variety show. And variety shows are outdated. Variety shows are from a past era or past generation. And the network only wants “current, new, fresh, young and white” on their network which does not include variety shows. What specifically told me that they are embarrassed by Sábado Gigante is that they have already stopped showing Sábado Gigante Classico which they have shown for years every Domingo/Sunday morning in the overnight hours. They were repeats of the show. But as of 1 de agosto, the network stopped showing the repeats or Sábado Gigante Classico. Why would they do that? Even with Sábado Gigante cancelled they could still continue showing repeats from their vast archives of the show, no? Because the show is really timeless. There’s nothing about it that date-stamps it, unlike some other shows. It’s my opinion that the reason they stopped showing the repeats is because the show is ending by their own choice and they’re embarrassed by it and they want it completely erased from their network, including repeats. Fin. The End. So they’ve now replaced the Sábado Gigante Classico time slot with a programme from Televisa, the network in México where Univisión gets much of its programming. ¡Viva México!
I read that the host of Sábado Gigante, Don Francisco, — that’s his stage name and for those who don’t know, the word “Don” is not his name. Don is a term of respect just like Doña is used for las mujeres/women as a term of respect — is being honoured on Telemundo while he’s still under contract with Univisión. That is unheard of because from what I read one cannot appear on the rival network (Telemundo) when under contract with one’s own network, but that’s what Don Francisco will be doing. He will be honoured on Telemundo’s Premios Tu Mundo before his last show ends on Univisión en septiembre.
I’ve mostly stopped watching Univisión some time ago because I’m very turned off by the network. They’ve made it so corporate. And there’s no shortage of fake, constantly smiling faces and laughter (there’s never a problem in anyone’s world on that network). The network is saturated with blindly-white teeth, cosmetic surgery, silliness, and as I said earlier they heavily promote tech/stupidphones. I’m also tired of seeing conservative/drab black, gray and white clothing (the latest shallow fad for the sheeple) which the network is obsessed with.
Univisión only want young, white Latinos in their 20s and 30s before their cameras — with only a few exceptions to that before they too are pushed out the side door — and by those standards Don Francisco is considered “old,” and the network is ageist (as well as anti-ethnic). A few years ago, they updated Sábado Gigante and in my opinion they improved it and made it a bit more mature (that was a good thing) but the show has become predictable, like most of the heteronormative programming on the network. Despite what the network says about “other projects” for Don Francisco at the network, I won’t be surprised to see him go over to Telemundo. Many Univisión actors and “personalities” end up on Telemundo and because of that some people refer to Telemundo as “Unimundo.”
From my research, Sábado Gigante is recorded during the week. From what I gathered, it’s an all-day project. The public comes to watch a taping of the show and to serve as the audience. The audience area is always full, although not necessarily with “young people” that the network is obsessed with. The show is recorded in Doral which is north of Miami where Univisión has their production studios. The show is broadcast from 8.00pm to 11.00pm every Sábado/Saturday. It’s rarely been pre-empted. When the show ends en septiembre, I would think that a lot of people will be unemployed unless the network can find a new job for the large staff used to produce Sábado Gigante, many of whom have been with the network for a long time. They can’t all go to Telemundo. (Question: Where will the network’s los bailarines/dancers go…los muchachos? Maybe to El Gordo y La Flaca?)
Sábado Gigante has had a long run. It began in 1962 in Chile and started on Univisión in 1986. Maybe Telemundo will pick up where Sábado Gigante leaves off because they are starting their own variety show shortly on Telemundo to fill the gap left by Sábado Gigante. So apparently Telemundo doesn’t consider variety shows outdated, or they’ve decided to take a chance on one. We’ll see how long their variety show lasts. Chau.—el barrio rosa