After more than a decade on the History Channel, American Pickers will finally see its first major change. Frank Fritz, who hosted the show since its inception with Mike Wolfe, will not be returning to the show. He has been missing from the show since March 2020, and the History Channel confirmed last week that Fritz will not be rejoining Wolfe, just after Fritz revealed that he has not spoken to Wolfe in two years. Wolfe is also in the middle of a divorce from his wife Jodi Catherine Wolfe and is reportedly dating model Leticia Cline.
American Pickers debuted in January 2010 and has been a mainstay for the History Channel ever since. The show even inspired two short-lived international spinoffs, Canadian Pickers (2011-2013) and Aussie Pickers (2014-2014). History even attempted a game show inspired by the series, titled Picked Off, in 2012. Lifetime, which is a member of the A&E Networks just like History, also aired Picker Sisters in 2011. The main American Pickers has outlasted all of these spinoffs, with its 22nd season launching in January.
Part of the show's appeal came from Wolfe and Fritz's personalities clashing. Now, the show will have to keep going without Fritz. Scroll on to look at how we got here.
What is 'American Pickers'?
American Pickers focuses on how Wolfe, 57, and Frtiz, 57, acquire antiques for Wolfe's business, Antique Archaeology. The store is based in Le Claire, Iowa, and they later opened a second location in Nashville. Fritz also sold some of their discoveries on a now-defunct website, Frank Fritz Finds. The two traveled around the country to find antiques with the help of Danielle Colby, who runs the Antique Archaeology office and provided them with leads. American Pickers became such a pop culture staple that Wolfe appeared in the NCIS Season 15 episode "One Man's Trash."prevnext
Fritz Says He Hasn't Spoken to Wolfe in 2 Years
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Fritz mysteriously disappeared from the show in March 2020. On July 19, Fritz told The Sun why. He has not spoken to Wolfe in two years, even though Wolfe was aware Fritz recently needed back surgery. "I haven't talked to Mike in two years. He knew my back was messed up, but he didn't call me up and ask how I was doing. That's just how it is," Fritz said.
Fritz lost 65 pounds and is sober, he told The Sun. He also suffers from Crohn's Disease and said his healthy eating habits help him keep it under control. "I'm just eating healthy," Fritz said. "After a while, I started watching what I'm doing and I'm doing a little bit more walking. I keep pretty busy around here too, taking care of the grass and getting rid of the weeds." He stopped drinking almost "nine, ten months" ago, he said.prevnext
Wolfe and Fritz Reportedly Haven't Gotten Along in 'Years'
Following Fritz's interview with The Sun, production sources spoke with TMZ, confirming that Fritz was not likely to come back. The outlet also noted that the rift between the two was an open secret on the set, but Fritz only left the show due to his health. Fritz did tell The Sun he would return if History wanted him, but sources told TMZ the network feels the show is doing fine with only Wolfe as host.prevnext
Fritz Says He's More of the 'Common Man' Compared to Wolfe
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In his interview with The Sun, Fritz said he believes he connected more to the American Pickers audience than Wolfe does. "I'm not arrogant and I'm more of a regular ol' guy. The guy that connects with me is the guy who buys a 30 pack of Busch Light and a pizza on the weekend. That's my guy. My guy buys a $150 sign, not an $8,000 sign," Fritz said. "I'm more of the common man guy, I haven't found a $100,000 vase or any Michelangelo stuff. I've never really had a big, big score like that. But all the small scores are the bread and butter and that's my deal."
Still, Fritz said he understood why History would stick with Wolfe, comparing him to Aerosmith frontman Steven Tyler. "I found my spot, I'm second and he's number one on the show. That's no problem with me, maybe he does have a problem," Fritz said.prevnext
History and Wolfe Confirm Fritz Isn't Coming Back
On July 22, Wolfe and History confirmed Fritz will not be returning. "I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he's been like a brother to me," Wolfe told Entertainment Weekly. "The journey that Frank, Dani (Danielle), and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding. I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey."prevnext
Who Will Replace Fritz?
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It's not clear who will replace Fritz or if Wolfe will continue hosting the show himself. Fritz told The Sun he thinks Wolfe wants his brother Robbie to co-host, but sources told TMZ that is not happening.
"I think Mike wants to get his brother Robbie in there to replace me. I don't know why he's behaving like that towards me," Fritz told The Sun. "You couldn't just stick two people in a van and get the chemistry you get from me and Mike. We've known each other for about 40 years. We can finish each other's sentences. When everybody is getting along and there's no drama, me and him are very good together."prevnext
What Fritz Is Up to Now0comments
Since leaving American Pickers, Fritz said he has stepped away from picking. Instead, he is focusing on working on his motorcycles. He also lives at a farmhouse in Iowa.
"I've been working on a couple motorcycles and stuff, but that's about it," Fritz told The Sun. "I was in Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota in August last year. I've been going to Sturgis for 40 years now. I was there for the 50th, 60th, 70th, 80th, and 90th anniversaries and every year in between that. I just got inducted two years ago to the Sturgis Hall of Fame."prev