What’s the real reason Univisión is ending Sábado Gigante?

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 And variety shows are outdated.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


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15 comments on “What’s the real reason Univisión is ending Sábado Gigante?

  1. el barrio rosa Post author

    Hola, an update: Univisión has now cancelled Sabadazo from the Sábado Gigante time shot and moved it to earlier in the day because the ratings tanked. The Sábado Gigante time shot has been replaced from what I can tell by a 2-hour news programme, which I can’t see doing well in that time slot, followed by an hour of S&P chisme. Loco. I flipped to Univisión tonight and saw that S&P was on. What a boring set they have! Gray and white. Of the three hosts, dos chicos were sitting there in casket-gray suits and white shirts. La chica was in a black dress (just got back from a funeral?). Can you get anymore dull and boring looking? And you expect people to watch your show? No gracias. I changed the channel back to tv azteca. Chau.

  2. el barrio rosa Post author

    Hola, it looks like Sábado Gigante is being replaced by Sabadazo from Televisa, at least temporarily if not permanently. Imagine that. (I’m not surprised). I saw a promo for it last night. I think Sabadazo is Televisa’s version of Sábado Gigante, or it’s similar. I’ve seen it before a few times but not for awhile.

    Doesn’t most of Univisión’s programming now come from Televisa? Hmmmmm. I’m wondering when they might change the name of the network from Univisión to Televisa? Chau.

  3. Fabián

    I watched most of the final of Sábado Gigante just to see how it was going to end. It was mostly celebrating celebrity culture which is all that Uni does anymore. One “celebrity” after the other with their history of being on the show getting a plaque. It looked like some of the network “celebrities” were in the studio audience which meant that less of the average people who usually attend the broadcast didn’t get a seat in the studio. Were they stuck outside? It was more about giving awards to the “network darlings” as you’ve called them. The Obamas made a statement in English(????) congratulating SG which they’ve probably never watched to work Latinos while deportations under Obama are at the highest levels ever under any president. Definitely noticed the formal & conservative BLACK and WHITE attire (ex. Daddy Yankee, Juanes and others) which turns me off. We’re now in the fall season and black and white are —-not—- fall colors, but they seem to be permanent colors for Uni. I think some conservatives have hijacked the network especially when it comes to moda. The show really ended last week in its original form. That was more of the final than this show.

    1. el barrio rosa Post author

      Gracias for that Fabián. I saw most of it. It’s the end of an era, I guess one could say.

      I noticed that the black, white and gray clothing obsession is still in full force at the network (and like you say they’re not at all Fall colours). Loco. At the end when la producción came to the stage, they’d apparently been ordered to wear black too. They looked more like people at a funeral when the camera moved in on them.

      I had to mute that bull shit from Mr and Ms Obama. Why did they have to stick their nose in it? Did the Obamabots at the network ask them to make a statement about it? If so, why? I wasn’t about to listen to that caca and hear them go on about something they likely don’t even watch. He was only there to exploit Latinos/Hispanos et al. I’m sick of him. Gracias to you for reminding people about his record level of deportations.

      It was sad to see it come to an end. I saw Juanes in all black. I didn’t recognise him at first. Every time I see him he looks differently. Tonight he looked more conservative as he has been looking lately (ugh). I remember the “rad” Juanes when he wore casual t-shirts and jeans and allowed his arms/tats to show and he had a faux hawk. That looked so much better than this conservative look. Or has he flipped-out and become conservative just because he’s become a father? That’s so typical of people. And Luis Fonsi was there in all black (of course). Many musicians got additional exposure on SG. They also had their segments with los niños, who were exceptionally mature for their age. And the (what I call) network bailarines who worked hard on their routines for the show performing with cantantes. That took quite a lot of work I would think. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

  4. La Sopa

    I was thinking the same thing you’ve written. I was watching the repeats of Sábado Gigante until those stopped being shown. Uni talks about other projects for Don Francisco. That’s a little hard for me to believe because they’ve cancelled everything he’s done so what other projects? i seem to remember him having something like 3 shows. He had his talk show “Don Francisco Presenta” and that lasted about 10 years or more then they cancelled that after they gave him this elaborate new set. I seem to remember him having another show other than SG. Maybe I’m wrong, but anyway I started thinking how long will SG last? Then that was given the axe. Maybe Uni will assign him to commercials only like that Univisióntarjeta commercial he does. He doesn’t seem upset that he’s leaving or has he had enough of Univisión and their ways. Maybe he is ready to retire.

    1. el barrio rosa Post author

      Hola Azúcar, no I haven’t. Maybe a movie night? My first thought was that it would be violent movies (with lots of guns and buildings blowing up and cars flying through the air, for ratings) or non-violent movies to keep it more in the style of SG. The cancellation of SG gives the network a new 3-hour time slot for specials, or for various weeks-long singing and/or dancing competition programmes that they do. Maybe they’re waiting for Televisa to tell them what to do, since Televisa essentially owns the network. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

  5. Alejandro


    Univisión (pronounced: uniβiˈsjo̞n. It’s an español word for an español language network. Only español-illiterate idiots pronounce it “You-nah-vision”)


    You can add Donald Trump’s name to that group. He told Jorge Ramos to go back to “You-nah-vision” and ejected him from the press conference. Trump acts like such a bully.

    I wish Jorge had corrected him by saying, “It’s Univisión.”

    So god Trump doesn’t know even the most basic español.

    1. el barrio rosa Post author

      Hola, UGH. These people can’t get any worse can they? (and I’m not referring to Jorge Ramos). The scum does float to the top doesn’t it!

      Yes I saw that and heard what that Trump said and I cringed. If I were Jorge, I would have corrected him. It would have made that Trump look pretty bad for him not knowing how to pronounce the name of the network correctly. Univisión is also partly responsible for this. They never correct anyone. They never try to educate anyone on how to pronounce their network name correctly (WHY NOT?), but any other corporate network would correct people I would think. Even the most illiterate don’t seem to have a problem with saying, “Telemundo.” They can get through that all right. It seems that most people who have never studied any other language other than US-English don’t know how to pronounce the “U” sound correctly, as pronounced in any other language, and then the “visión” part is NOT pronounced “vision.” It almost sounds French when it’s pronounced correctly. Jeb Bush is fluent en español so he knows that Trump made a fool of himself.

      I’m paying very little attention to this caca, in part, because there’s so much scapegoating of los inmigrantes y
      los inmigrantes indocumentados/undocumented immigrants, and I can’t stand that. Here in The Cesspool/the US, everyone is an immigrant whether you were born here or not unless you are a direct descendant of the native peoples (commonly known as “Native Americans”) who were here to begin with and treated like basura by the arriving (European) immigrants. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

  6. Héctor

    I read that there are/were rumors that El Gordo y La Flaca was being cancelled along with SG. Then I read that Jessica Maldonado was let go and that added to the cancellation rumors, but it seems she had an image problem according to media “professionals” and we all know that Uni is shallow like that. Image. Later I read that El Gordo is not being cancelled but instead they’re getting a set makeover for their “popular” show. LOL. If it were so popular they wouldn’t think of changing anything about it. The set they have now is only 2-3 years old. They really think changing the set will help things?

  7. RUkiddingmeChico?

    Hola, Telemundo is just as bad when it comes to the black & white & gray clothing fad. It was thick at Premios Tu Mundo tonight.

    1. el barrio rosa Post author

      Hola RUKiddingmeChico, oh I know. I had Premios Tu Mundo on for a total of about 1 minute last night. Each time I went to Telemundo — about three times — I saw black, gray and white clothing on stage so I changed the channel. It’s a weird and silly fad. I remember people used to wear lots of colours to these awards shows. Now, other than the pretty LED sets these shows look very conservative in their funeral black, gray and/or white. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

    1. el barrio rosa Post author

      Hola I Love Salsa, I never could figure out when it was produced until I watched it one night for awhile and something told me it was recorded during the week. Then I read a comment from someone online who had been to a taping and that person said that it was pretty much an all-day type of thing. It’s either all morning and afternoon or all afternoon and well into the evening, I forget which. As I remember, there are two different audiences that come in for the entire production. The network gives them a name tag (which is very time-consuming the person said) and then they are given a snack, and then they take their seats and are not allowed to have bathroom breaks after they’re seated. And if one wants to be up near the “stage,” be late because you’ll end up seated near the front. The person wrote that the staff was very nice and that you’ll see other network “celebrities” while waiting in line. To my knowledge, other than the telenovelas and Sábado Gigante, all of Univisión’s programmes are produced live on the East Coast each day. Gracias for your comment. Chau.

  8. Alejandro

    Hoooooooooola. Just before they announced that SG was cancelled I was wondering how long it would be before they got rid of him for the reason you state … and then it came. Didn’t they say a couple years ago or less than Don Francisco said he wasn’t retiring for a few years? I think so. It hasn”t been a few years. Y gracias for continuing to educate people on how to say Univisión correctly. I cringe when I hear people mispronounce it like it’s an English word when it’s NOT.

Fin. The End.