Sábado Gigante ("Giant Saturday") is a Spanish-language television show that is Univision's longest-running program and the longest-running variety TV show in the world. Sábado Gigante is an eclectic and frenetic mix of various contests, human-interest stories, and live entertainment.
From its start in 1962, it has been hosted by Chilean TV star Mario Kreutzberger under the stage name of Don Francisco. Pedro De Paul began serving as co-host in 1986; that role was taken over by Javier Romero in 1991.
The program is currently one of only four remaining first-run primetime programs airing on Saturday nights on any of the American commercial broadcast television networks, along with CBS's 48 Hours Mystery and Fox's COPS and America's Most Wanted. A new show has been produced every week throughout the show's history, with no reruns.
Kreutzberger originated the weekly program in 1962, airing on Canal 13 in Chile as Show Dominical ("Sunday's Show"). He had been inspired by television shows he had seen in the USA and Argentina but, as he explained, "My idea was mixing all the programs that I saw into one program."
The show was renamed Sábados Gigantes in 1966 and quickly developed a loyal following in Chile, and then throughout Latin America. In Chile, during the 1970s and 80s, the show reached peak audiences of 80%. During this period, some episodes of the program lasted up to eight hours.
In its early years, the series was broadcast live with the exception of short segments; notable among the pre-taped segments was the travelogue, where Kreutzberger visited different locations around the world.
On April 12, 1986 Kreutzberger and the program moved to Miami, Florida where Univision (formerly SIN) began producing it. At that time, the show's title was changed to the singular Sábado Gigante, although some long-time fans in Latin America still call it by the plural.
On June 18, 2005 the series celebrated its 1,000th episode on Univisión, and on May 20, 2006 it celebrated its twentieth anniversary there.
For several years, two programs were recorded each week from identical sets:
Adonis Losada's arrest
In September 2009, comedian Adonis Losada, who played Doña Concha on the show, was arrested by the police and subsequently charged with 30 counts of possession of child pornography after detectives in Boynton Beach, Florida alleged he uploaded one of the images to a social-networking site. Police found 18 images of child pornography on a hard drive in his home.
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