Hernandez to Appear on the Debut Episode of Telemundo’s “Don Francisco Te Invita”

Larry Hernández is the first…

The 39-year-old Mexican singer will help Don Francisco kick off his new talk show.

Larry Hernández

After ending his iconic show Sábado Gigante, Don Francisco is returning to Spanish television with Don Francisco Te Invita, which will air its debut episode on Sunday night on Telemundo.

To kick off the new talk show, Don Francisco, real name Mario Kreutzberger, will have musical guests including Hernández, Venezuelan chart-topping duo Chino Y Nacho and Juan Gabriel‘s longtime producer and orchestra director Eduardo Magallanes.

According to a statement from the network, Magallanes will “unveil details of the man also known as ‘El Divo de Juárez,’ and talk about the first time the music legend auditioned in 1969, signed his first recording contract, and collaborated in almost every production he created since 1971 until most recently before he passed away.”

Aside from their musical performances, the musicians will also join Don Francisco for a sit-down interview in the hour-long show where the legendary host will be accompanied by Mexican journalist Jessica Carrillo and the all-female house band, Sexta Clave, directed by singer Leslie Cartaya.

The first Don Francisco Te Invita will air every Sunday at 10:00 pm ET on Telemundo.

Hernandez to Appear on the Debut Episode of Telemundo’s “Don Francisco Te Invita”

Larry Hernández is the first…

The 39-year-old Mexican singer will help Don Francisco kick off his new talk show.

Larry Hernández

After ending his iconic show Sábado Gigante, Don Francisco is returning to Spanish television with Don Francisco Te Invita, which will air its debut episode on Sunday night on Telemundo.

To kick off the new talk show, Don Francisco, real name Mario Kreutzberger, will have musical guests including Hernández, Venezuelan chart-topping duo Chino Y Nacho and Juan Gabriel‘s longtime producer and orchestra director Eduardo Magallanes.

According to a statement from the network, Magallanes will “unveil details of the man also known as ‘El Divo de Juárez,’ and talk about the first time the music legend auditioned in 1969, signed his first recording contract, and collaborated in almost every production he created since 1971 until most recently before he passed away.”

Aside from their musical performances, the musicians will also join Don Francisco for a sit-down interview in the hour-long show where the legendary host will be accompanied by Mexican journalist Jessica Carrillo and the all-female house band, Sexta Clave, directed by singer Leslie Cartaya.

The first Don Francisco Te Invita will air every Sunday at 10:00 pm ET on Telemundo.

Don Francisco Returning to Television After Signing Telemundo Deal

Don Francisco is returning to television…

Less than six months after the star and creator of the seminal Spanish language variety show Sabado Gigante left the program that made him an international starthe 75-year-old Chilean television host is coming out of retirement after signing a deal with Telemundo.

Don Francisco

As part of the agreement, Don Francisco will serve as a senior news correpondent. In addition, the television personality – real name Mario Kreutzberger – will launch a production venture with the network to develop original content for U.S. Hispanics and international audiences.

As a senior news correspondent, Francisco will conduct sit-down interviews with prominent figures and also offer coverage of important events including the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Rio Summer Olympics, and World Cup 2018.

Francisco’s Sabado Gigante ran for 53 years before he ended his run in September.

He was named to the Academy of Television Arts & SciencesHall of Fame in March 2012.

Don Francisco to Receive an All-Star Send-Off as “Sabado Gigante” Ends Its Historic Run

It’s an all-star send-off for Don Francisco

The 74-year-old Chilean television host will have an A-List roster of talent on hand when his popular Univision program Sábado Gigante airs its final episode on September 19.

Don Francisco Sabado Gigante

The longest-running variety show in history, created and hosted by television icon Mario Kreutzberger (more commonly known as Don Francisco), will draw to a clsoe after an unparalleled 53-year cycle.

The network confirmed to Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter exclusively that the lineup for the finale includes global superstar Shakira, Spanish heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, Colombian rocker Juanes, Mexican pop diva Paulina Rubio, Italian pop singer Laura Pausini, Latin urban king Daddy Yankee, salsa icon Marc Anthony, regional Mexican acts Espinoza Paz and Intocable, pop balladeer Luis Fonsi, bachata idol Prince Royce and the original crossover queen, Gloria Estefan.

Their participation will be a mix of live performances and other surprises, the details of which will be revealed by Univision in the coming days.

Many of those artists have a unique attachment to Don Francisco, who gave them a platform long before they became household names.

Upon hearing the news in April that the show was ending, many prominent members of the music community shared heartfelt messages on social media dedicated to Kreutzberger, who will continue his relationship with Univision by hosting specials.

At the time, Yankee told Billboard, “Don Francisco was the first person who gave me a shot on national television. I’ll always be indebted to him. His contribution to — and influence in — the Latino community has no limit. He is an example and a true leader.”

Likewise, Royce told Billboard, “Don Francisco and Sábado Gigante have been hugely important in my career. It was the first show where I performed on television even before I was known. Mario opened the doors to Chile for me by inviting me to be a part of his beloved telethon and I’ve joined him for two years in that beautiful labor of love which he puts on from the heart for the kids and families of his country. He has a giant heart and that’s why he’s so big, our dear Don Francisco.”

Iglesias, who first visited the show in 1995 when he was still a relative newcomer, reacted to the news by saying, “Fifty-three years on TV is easy to say, but it’s an incredible record. Don Francisco will always be unique and irreplaceable. I am so grateful because I started my career on the show and I’m sure a lot of my colleagues will agree with me that he has been like a father figure to all of us. Thank you Don Mario.”

Promos for the special “Sábado Gigante: Hasta Siempre” started airing on Univision on September 12 leading up to the grand finale.

Univision to End Don Francisco’s Long-Running Variety Series “Sábado Gigante”

It’s the end of an era for Don Francisco

Univision has announced that the 74-year-old Chilean television host’s Sábado Gigante, the longest-running variety series in television history, will end its 53-year run on September 19.

Don Francisco

Host and creator Don Francisco — real name Mario Kreutzberger — will continue to have a relationship with Univision.

In addition to hosting the annual TeletónUSA charity event for disabled children, Kreutzberger also will appear in TV specials and contribute to the network’s efforts to identify and cultivate new on-air talent.

Created in 1962 for Chile’s Canal 13 as Show Dominical, the series was inspired by television programs from Argentina and the U.S. that Kreutzberger enjoyed. In its second year, the series was moved to Saturday nights and the named changed to Sábados Gigantes to reflect the move. It quickly proved popular throughout the region, reaching an 80 share in Latin American television during the 1970s. This afforded Kreutzberger enormous leeway in production, and some episodes from this era lasted as long as eight hours.

In 1986, Kreutzberger moved the program to the Univision network and relocated the production to Miami. With the move came several changes; the name was changed to Sábado Gigante, a series of co-hosts added and, for several years, two identical versions were recorded — one for Kreutzberger’s native Chile and one for international audiences.

Throughout its various incarnations, Sábado Gigante has had an unrivaled production schedule. A new episode has aired every week the show has been in production, it has never aired reruns in lieu of new episodes, and only rarely has it been pre-empted for other programming, usually for special events such as TeletónUSA that are hosted by Kreutzberger.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunity that Channel 13 of the Universidad Católica de Chile gave me as I was starting out, to Univision in the United States and also to the Televisa Network, which allowed us to bring our Sábado Gigante into the homes of millions of families in the United States and the world every week,” Kreutzberger said in a statement. “I have no words to thank our viewers for the support, loyalty and enthusiasm with which they have honored us through the years and which have allowed the show to become an unprecedented success in the history of this medium. 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.”

The series earned Don Francisco numerous awards and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was also inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame.

González to Host Variety Show for Telemundo

Raúl González is switching equipos

The 42-year-old Venezuelan television host and actor, who most recently co-hosted Univision‘s morning show Despierta America for 13 years, is moving to Telemundo.

Raúl González

González will host a new variety series slated for next season for the network. He’ll also contribute to multiple series and specials, the first of which will be the Billboard Latin Music Awards, which will be broadcast live on April 24 at 7:00 pm ET.

“I am delighted to be joining the team at Telemundo and for the trust they have shown in me,” said Gonzalez. “I am a firm believer in following your dreams and for me hosting a prime time series has always been one of my major goals. We share a passion for quality television and will bring our audience the programming they want and deserve.”

Gonzalez left Univision last month after co-hosting of Despierta America. He also frequently co-hosted the network’s long-running variety show Sabado Gigante.

Machado to Coach Beauty Contestants on Univision’s “Nuestra Belleza Latina” Reality Competition

Alicia Machado is ready to coach the next Latina beauty queen…

The 37-year-old Venezuelan actress/singer and former Miss Universe has signed on to appear on Univision’s Nuestra Belleza Latina reality competition series.

Alicia Machado

Machado and fellow Miss Universe winner Denise Quiñones will mentor the 12 finalists, all talented Latinas from the United States and Puerto Rico, competing to be named Nuestra Belleza Latina.

Unlike previous years, this time around the 12 finalists are already known, said  Univision.

The competitors will move to a luxury mansion where they will live together and compete in different challenges every week, until one finalist is left standing.

The winner will receive an exclusive contract with Univision, $200,000 in cash, a variety of other prizes and a new car.

The weekly series will have all the challenges of a traditional beauty contest, but with the added intrigue of the reality element – what goes on backstage.

This season hidden cameras will follow the drama being woven among the 12 contestants day by day in the mansion.

Along with Machado and Quiñones, Alejandra Espinoza, the first winner of Nuestra Belleza Latina and a host of Sabado Gigante, is joining the show as a presenter.

The Nuestra Belleza Latina reality competition series will begin its broadcast run on Sunday, February 12.

Don Francisco Named to TV Hall of Fame…

It’s a momento gigante for legendary Spanish-language television host Don Francisco

The 70-year-old Chilean television icon will be inducted into the Academy of Television Arts & SciencesHall of Fame next March for his extraordinary contributions to television.

Mario Kreutzberger, Don Francisco

Born Mario Luis Kreutzberger Blumenfeld, the Emmy-winning Univision star is best known for hosting Sábado Gigante, one of the most popular programs in the history of Spanish-language television. He’s also the host of Don Francisco Presenta, another variety show that features interviews with big-name artists.

Born in southern Chile, Kreutzberger is the son of German Jewish immigrants who fled to the South American country to escape Nazi persecution. His father hoped he’d follow in his footsteps by working in the garment industry. After working as an apprentice in New York City, Don Francisco returned to Chile and decided to work in broadcasting instead. On August 8, 1962, the show that went on to make television history, Sábado Gigante, was born. It has since been recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the “… longest-running TV show in the Americas.”

Kreutzberger has received several honors throughout his career, including the “Gabriela Mistral Order of Merit,” the Chilean government’s highest grade of Grand Officer for his contributions to culture and solidarity in the country. Kreutzberger has also been honored with a
star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2001 and an Emmy in 2005 for being a leader in Spanish-language television.

In his home country, Kreutzberger created the Chilean Telethon which has resulted in the construction of 11 hospitals, where more than 80,000 disabled children are treated. His idea inspired 13 Latin American countries to create their own telethons.

Kreutzberger will be inducted into the Hall of Fame at the 21st annual ceremony on March 1 at Los Angeles’ Beverly Hills Hotel.

Image courtesy of AP Photo/Alan Diaz.