20 restrictions the American Pickers roster must follow (2023)

If you love reality TV, history, or hidden gems, chances areAmerican recyclersis the program for you. After all, it's one of TV's biggest hits and for good reason; it has an incredibly broad appeal. It turns out anyone can find something they like at a few antique dealers who happily turn one person's junk into gold for another. We all seem to love this transformation.

Actually,American recyclersbecame an overnight sensation when it debuted in the fall of 2010 to 3.1 million people. That number skyrocketed in its first year on the air and went down in history as the highest-rated unscripted series on cable. Now in 2018, he remains one of the biggest viewer draws on the History Channel. All in all a great success!

But that accomplishment isn't just down to luck or the dedicated personalities of the show's stars, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, but also to creative and ethical imperatives imposed by the producers and the network.

These rules take care of thatAmerican recyclersIt's a very focused and coherent product that never fails to captivate its massive audience and doesn't offend anyone. Since there is also a real shop that sells the antiques from the show, certain guidelines need to be in place to ensure the scavengers make a profit. What are some of these limitations? Well, some might surprise you.

Without further ado, here they are.20 restrictions the American Pickers roster must follow.

20. You absolutely must make a profit

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not much laterAmerican recyclersFirst airing, the show's stars Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz sat down with themabc newsto describe what a "collector" really is. In the interview, Frank describes a "collector" as "someone who finds good things in rust." Typically, this "good stuff" is considered junk, but to the naked eye it might as well be treasure.

Experts like Mike and Frank track these things down and know they can buy them cheap, clean them up, and sell them for a profit. This is the entire business model for the show and "collectors" around the world.

These are rules any recycler must follow in order to be successful, even in a successful program likeAmerican recyclers.

19. You cannot intrude

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IfAmerican recyclersMike Wolfethis, the law requires that manufacturerscall ahead, call aheadObtain permission from individual property owners to film on their properties. If they didn't, they would be in trouble. In fact, they would be arrested. At worst, they point a gun at their faces.

According to Mike, this is one of the few things about American Pickers that is built ahead of time.

He said this in response to some of theaccusationsTheAmerican recyclersit is wrong. Mike assures fans that due to legitimate citizen protection laws, that's pretty much the only thing that's fake.

18. You can't lie in a sale.

20 restrictions the American Pickers roster must follow (3)

Although the stars ofAmerican recyclersthey definitely wereaccusedlying about a sale on your show isn't really beneficial for them to do so. Both Mike and Frank have active businesses that were filmed for the show.

(Video) American Pickers: Mike and Danielle Pick Jack (Season 20) | History

While it's true that in some cases deals are ironed out and transacted before filming even begins, Mike and Frank need to do real business to keep their antique shops separate. This is only done to speed up the process and ensure that the seller actually wants to get rid of the items.

Under you can control your purchases and buy them yourselfantiquity archaeologyand FrankFritzwebsite.

17. You cannot falsify knowledge

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If Mike and Frank faked an experience on the show, they were preparing for a total disaster. This can be done in two different ways. First, if they pretend to know something about a product while haggling with someone to sell it to them, it could be seen as manipulating that person, something they've been trying to avoid since the show first aired.

Also, you have to be very sure about what you buy, otherwise you risk aProfit loss.

In other words, they can't buy something just because they think someone else will like it.

You must be sure. This is only possible if you know exactly what the dough is for.

They are proud of that toohis storyand share it with your viewers. If they don't know, they're happy to learn from those who do.

16. You can't force a sale

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Getting someone to sell something they just don't want to sell is malicious intent.American recyclersit's about relationships and “the relationships people have with your articles”. Or at least that's what Mike Wolfe said during aFox NewsInterview. It is therefore completely understandable that collectors cannot force a sale.

Especially when the show first aired, there were quite a fewcriticismabout Mike and Frank getting seniors to part with their treasures. Fact is that,American recyclerslooking for people already interested in selling and all mike and frank have to do is make the right offer.

Conversely, things go much better when the seller likes to trade or trades themselves.

15. They can't rob graves

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Due to United States grave robbing laws, American Pickers antique dealers are not permitted to take artifacts or valuables from a person's grave. Otherwise, they could face civil and criminal penalties. The relatives of the deceased can also recover the value of the stolen goods in order to punish the thieves.

Most states treat grave robbing as a distinct crime, although others include it in other burglary laws.

This can be difficult for archaeologists, and to a lesser extent antiquities, trying to unearth finds for the world to see and appreciate. It's not particularly ethical in either scenario, and so it makes perfect sense as to why theAmerican recyclershe wouldn't be allowed to.

14. They can't buy anything if they have a criminal record

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It goes without saying that Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe cannot buy anything that has been stolen or has a current criminal record. After all, it's illegal. If they did, the History Channel would be responsible.

This is one of the reasons why recyclers spend so much time dealing with identification numbers and labels.

(Video) American Pickers: From the Ground to the Rafters (Season 20) | Bonus | History

In addition, they must ensure that they follow their own laws. In 2014, American Pickers office manager Danielle Colby received a notice of a $11,973.42 tax lien based on unpaid taxes on items she was shopping for at the antique store. It's bad for business.

13. You cannot violently compete for profits

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According to Mike Wolfe, the show wouldn't be as appealing if he just directed it. So he brought his old friend from elementary school, Frank Fritz, with him. Having the two hang out and discuss antiques is one of the reasons the show really stands out.

However, an important rule that both collectors follow is thatdoes not compete for profit. Sure, there's healthy competition between them, but it's not about who earns more. Otherwise, hostilities and conflicts may arise.

In fact, Mike and Frank have separate businesses. All purchases Mike makes on the show are sold at his Antique Archeology store. Frank, on the other hand, sells his items exclusively through his website.

12. You can't spend much on repairs

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Almost all items that Mike and Frank Fritz find in theAmerican recyclersit needs to be cleaned or even partially repaired. However, these repairs must be prohibitively expensive.

They can't break the bank if they want to start it and make a sale. That's just thebusiness modelthey must obey.

Basically, recyclers have to calculate on site whether the repair is worthwhile at the end of the day.

If the seller doesn't match the price, and Mike or Frank know they'll have to spend a certain amount on repairs after the purchase, there's no way they can make any money out of it.

11. You need to be sure that there are buyers

20 restrictions the American Pickers roster must follow (10)

when you lookAmerican recyclersYou'll often hear Mike and Frank talking about thisdemandfor every item they buy. That's because they have to sell the products they buy on the show, and there's no way they'll do that if there's no demand for those products.

That is why you will see many cars, motorcycles and items with famous brands from the past.

Collectors line up to buy these types of items and are usually willing to pay big bucks for them.

If the products don't have a remarkable history, they must be so rare and unique that they will whet the appetite of any potential buyer.

10. You can't buy modern things

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While this caveat is obvious, it's worth noting that Mike and Frank don't buy anything that's too recent. it just isn'tWhat are you looking for. In fact, there were episodes where they found something they liked, but it was turned off by the date of manufacture.

This is because the show is about antiques. So collectors will rarely buy anything made after the 1970s and 1980s. It must be classified as antique or they would be breaking their mark. They wouldn't even be antiques.

That being said, you don't have to remove items entirely. The couple loves finding vintage items that are still in use today, as these items have "standing the test of time".

(Video) American Pickers: Picker, DDS (Season 20) | Bonus | History

9. They avoid fine antiques

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The show's premise is two guys who "turn one man's mess into another man's money." If you watch the show, that certainly seems to be the case.

The motorcycle at the Mike Wolfe Ancient Archaeological Site as well as atamerican scavengers', is that they want 'oxidized gold'. They enjoy sifting through the trash and finding the treasure that awaits them. This usually involves a bit of cleaning and sometimes even repairing some parts. This sets it apart from other fairs that focus on more serviceable antiques such as fine china and furniture.

American Pickers tends toward rare and unique collectibles.

They are usually things that are neededBatteryfor.

8. You need to find authentic American style.

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It is certainly not surprising that one of the policies of theAmerican recyclersis that the show is about American treasures of yesteryear. is calledamerican scavengers,everything final.

One of the intriguing aspects of the show is the amount of American history tied to each item they come across. That's one of the reasons so many people watch it. The program allows them to gain knowledge about things that they might never have been able to learn in school. After all, most institutions don't bother going through the history of Coca-Cola signs or Pez dispensers.

Mike Wolfe has stated that not only does he love teaching people about American history, he also loves learning about it.

7. You can't buy emotionally

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This is more of a general rule of thumb for pickers: when they buy emotionally, they often lose money because the seller is forcing them to raise the price. That's something Mike and Frank admit to quite often on the show. In fact, it's always interesting to see how they hold back when they find something that gets their heart pumping.

The key here is that they step back and calculate their potential profit margins objectively and to some extent hide their interest.

Because of this, you see Mike and Frank walk away from an item for a few minutes when they see that the buyer is willing to compete for the price.

6. You cannot spend on items with many spare parts

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During a Season 7 episode, Frank believed he had found an original Lionel Train in ideal condition. He ended up spending a paltry $8,000 on it hoping to sell it at auction for a very healthy price. Unfortunately, he discovered that the train actually had several spare parts, causing the sale to drop to just $3,400, less than half of what he paid for it.

It is very important that American Pickers does not purchase items with many spare parts as this will absolutely deplete the item's value. So it's one of the first things they look for before making a purchase.

The rare exceptions are when the spare part is also an antique, such as vintage engines.

5. You must spend as little as possible

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Mike and Frank are certainly no strangers to having to spend a bit of money to buy an item they want. But, as you'll see frequently on the show, Danielle has to keep an eye on them since they don't have much money to spend. Because the more money they spend, the less chance there is of making a profit.

Typically, Mike and Frank don't spend thousands of dollars on a single item. In fact, it's pretty rare.

There are exceptions though, including the time they bought a rare $90,000 four-cylinder motorcycle. But in this case, they knew there was a market for this item.

4. You may not swear or display inappropriate images

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As an A&E proprietary network channel, the History Channel is subject to the same regulations and policies as any other similar entity. Therefore, it is illegal to transmit sensitive material that could cause problems on the network.

(Video) American Pickers: Ya Win Some, Ya Oilzum (Season 20) | History

Even though Mike and Fritz think something's cool if it doesn't follow these guidelines, they just can't show it.

The same goes for profanity of any kind as it's a family show, although children are unlikely to watch it. If they swear, they will be paged or cut out entirely.

However, there was one instance where American Pickers was exhibiting WWII art that some found offensive but was still tastefully handled.

3. You cannot withdraw from a deal.

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This is what happens when recyclers back out of a deal; They're being processed and it's looking terribly bad for the network that pays for them. That's exactly what happened to Frank Fritz back thenallegedlypulled out of a deal with auctioneer and collector Jerry Bruce.

Bruce claims that Fritz broke the contract when he ended up not selling him an item he advertised.

Bruce offered him $300 plus shipping for the polarimeter (a device that measures sugar in alcohol), which Frank never shipped. However, he confirmed that he would do so via text message to Bruce.

At the end of the day, Frank did not respond to the allegations, and the judge awarded Bruce $1,080.

2. You cannot purchase reproduced items

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Although one of the things that differAmerican recyclersWhat sets other antiques and antique fairs in general apart is the fact that they don't always adhere to the "100 years or older" rule, they almost never buy anything that has been mass-produced reproduced. Because? Because it completely destroys the value of the product.

If you can go and buy what you can find elsewhere, there is no demand for a scavenger's product.

The idea is that everything they find is vintage and collectible.

pursue theserelicsand buying them to resell them is the whole philosophy of the show.

It would be interesting to see a spoof show where two guys hunt for reproduced antiques and haggle with the Walmart salespeople for the price. Your move, A&E...

1. You can't afford the full selling price

20 restrictions the American Pickers roster must follow (20)

Choosing means betting; there are no guarantees. Even when there is an obvious demand for a product, the savvy picker can be surprised by something that doesn't sell. This is one of the reasons why it is so important not to pay full selling price for an item. It has a much better chance of being picked up by a buyer if its price is lower than the antique store equivalent.

Although it's something some criticizeAmerican recyclers, Mike and Frank have to buy a product as cheaply as possible because they also have to pay for the repair, cleaning and shipping of the product.

There is absolutely no business model for scavengers to pay full retail for any item, no matter how rare.


What rules should Mike and Frank follow?American recyclersdidn't have to continue? Let us know in the comments.

(Video) American Pickers: Bonus - You’re Talking My Language! (Season 20) | History


Why was Fritz fired on American Pickers? ›

Fritz left the show in March 2020 to undergo back surgery, however, in July 2021, his costar Mike Wolfe confirmed that Fritz would not be returning to the show.

Do American Pickers pay in cash? ›

Its quite possible that they do pay in cash as they do tell the collectors they will. They most likely do not carry the cash with them while filming, that would probably be held by production or their own staff.

Did Frank on the Pickers have a stroke? ›

It has been almost six months since the world learned that former “American Pickers” star Frank Fritz had been hospitalized following a stroke. Strokes are always serious, but Fritz's felt particularly worrisome after his former co-star, Mike Wolfe, issued a statement asking fans to pray.

How do you get American Pickers to come to your house? ›

If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, contact americanpickers@cineflix.com, @GotAPick on Facebook or call 646-493-2184 with your name, phone number, location, description of the collection and photos ...

Did Frank and Mike have a falling out? ›


Mike and Frank's friendship has also taken a hit over the years as the former TV personality previously opened up to The U.S. Sun of their falling out in 2021. “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.

Is Danielle on American Pickers married? ›

Can I sell something to American Pickers? ›

If you do, send your name, phone number, location and a description of the collection, with photos to americanpickers@cineflix.com or call 855-OLD-RUST (855-653-7878).

Who owns the rights to the show American Pickers? ›

American Pickers (or also known as The Pickers for international) is an American reality television series that premiered on January 18, 2010 on History, produced by A&E Television Networks in collaboration with Cineflix Media.

Is American Pickers real or staged? ›

Many Scenes Are Staged

American Pickers is a reality show, which means that there's always a bit of acting involved. A lot of the driving scenes in the show are totally staged. Sometimes they don't even get to their filming locations in that van. It's just B-roll footage to set up the story.

What disease does Frank Fritz have? ›

Frank Fritz Has A History Of Medical Issues

In 2013, Fritz posted on Facebook to reveal what was going on with his weight and health at the time. As Fritz revealed, similar to other stars like Pete Davidson, he'd been diagnosed with Crohn's disease and that is what was causing his transformation.

What is Frank Fritz's condition? ›

According to the Frank Fritz health update from TMZ, he is also reportedly battling Crohn's disease and has undergone back surgery. Fans continue to send their prayers and wishes to Fritz, hoping for his speedy recovery.

What nationality is Frank Fritz? ›

Where is the headquarters for American Pickers? ›

Antique Archaeology is tucked away in the historic Mississippi River town of LeClaire, Iowa. It's the birthplace of Buffalo Bill. The two-story former fabrication shop is the home base for the American Pickers Show on History Channel. It now houses some of our best picks and a new merchandise store.

How do pickers make a living? ›

Most pickers try to make at least 50 percent on their sales but it can vary from 20-100 percent. To be a good picker you need to do quite a bit of traveling. Yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and auctions are always going on somewhere.

What do the American Pickers do with the stuff they buy? ›

As a History publicist previously explained (via Star Tribune), "They each run their own business, and they sell the items you see them purchasing on the show separately. Mike is the sole owner of Antique Archaeology.

Why did Mike and Frank stop talking? ›

He told The Sun that he hadn't "talked to Mike in two years" and said his former friend had not called him to check in after his back surgery. The feud seems to dwindle after Frank suffered a stroke on July 21, 2022.

Were Mike and Frank ever friends? ›

Fritz and Mike Wolfe, his childhood friend and reality TV co-star, achieved fame for their series, “American Pickers,” which followed the collectors as they traveled the country looking for antiques.

Did Danielle leave American Pickers? ›

She admitted she had "lost" her "desire to work" in the "emotionally taxing" time after her surgery. It is not yet clear if Danielle is appearing in season 24 in 2023, but she is still recovering from her op, posting in early January 2023: "I'm starting to feel more like myself again but it's a slow process."

Who is Mike Wolfe's new wife? ›

Mike and Leticia have been dating since August 2021. He was previously married to Jodi Faeth, with whom he shares a daughter, Charlie. Mike likes to keeps her out of the limelight, but in September shared a rare photo of the 10-year-old. “I cannot believe how fast she is sprouting up,” he gushed to his fans.

Are Danielle and Nick still together? ›

Sadly, Nick and Danielle are no longer together. They did get married in June 2021 at the end of Love is Blind season 2, but their marriage only lasted a little over one year before they divorced. According to TMZ, Danielle officially filed for divorce in August 2022 in Cook County Circuit Court in Illinois.

Who is Mike's wife from American Pickers? ›

How much do the pickers make a year? ›

Pickers make $30,779 per year on average, or $14.8 per hour, in the United States. Pickers on the lower end of that spectrum, the bottom 10% to be exact, make roughly $25,000 a year, while the top 10% makes $37,000.

Is someone from American Pickers in jail? ›

History's reality TV series, American Pickers, initially featured Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz traveling across the country to track down collections of classic Americana.

Does the American Pickers still have their retail stores? ›

Antique Archaeology is tucked away in the historic Mississippi River town of LeClaire, Iowa. It's the birthplace of Buffalo Bill. The two-story former fabrication shop is the home base for the American Pickers Show on History Channel. It now houses some of our best picks and a new merchandise store.

How much do Frank and Mike make per episode? ›

According to Looper, Mike reportedly brings in a salary of $500,000 per season. When Frank still co-hosted, he brought home about $300,000 per season. Recent seasons of the show had over 20 episodes, meaning Mike likely made around $25,000 per episode, and Frank likely brought home around $15,000.

How much does Danielle make per episode on American Pickers? ›

Obviously, her main job is co-host of American Pickers, which, per Reality Star Facts, brings her $15,000 per episode. With a little over 20 episodes per season, Danielle could be making as much as $345,000 a year before taxes.

How many motorcycles does Mike Wolfe have? ›

"American Pickers" star Mike Wolfe has been collecting vintage motorcycles for over 30 years. He owns more than 110 but has decided to sell 62 of them at an upcoming Mecum Auctions event in Las Vegas.

Did Mike get fired from American Pickers? ›


Then, Mike was the one who publicly revealed that his friend had been booted from the show in July of 2021. Although they were childhood buddies, Frank exclusively revealed to The Sun that Mike has not reached out to him since he was fired from the show. “I haven't talked to Mike in two years," he said.

Why did Mike on American Pickers go to jail? ›

As it turns out, the Michael Wolfe who was arrested was held on account of murdering his wife and son. While murder cases are mostly reserved for true crime television, fans of American Pickers should rest more easily knowing their favorite co-host is squeaky clean!

Who replaced Frank on American Pickers? ›

Mike Wolfe's brother replaced Frank Fritz on 'American Pickers' So, who is Robbie Wolfe? He's Mike Wolfe's older brother who now co-hosts American Pickers. The Sun reports Robbie has owned the landscaping business, RJ Wolfe & Sons, in Davenport, Iowa, for over 20 years.

How is Frank from American Pickers doing since his stroke? ›

In an interview with the Quad-City Times, an insider revealed that Frank was improving daily. The insider claimed he was progressing well in his recovery. After being hospitalized for a stroke, Fritz's American Pickers co-star expressed his support.

How much is Frank from American Pickers worth? ›

What is Frank Fritz's Net Worth? Frank Fritz is an American reality star and antique collector who has a net worth of $6 million. Frank Fritz is best known for co-hosting the reality series "American Pickers," which began airing on The History Channel in 2010.

What accident did Frank Fritz have? ›

It's been a tough time for former American Pickers host Frank Fritz. After he was fired from the popular History Channel series in 2020, Frank suffered a debilitating stroke in July 2021.

Who had a stroke on American Pickers? ›

Frank Fritz Is On The Mend After Stroke, American Pickers Ratings Are Also Improving. Finally, some good news on the American Pickers front! It's been a few weeks since American Pickers star Mike Wolfe confirmed his former road tripping buddy Frank Fritz had a stroke and had been hospitalized.

How old is Mike Wolfe? ›

What happened to Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz? ›

It is worth noting that when Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz broke the band up, it wasn't exactly copacetic. While Frank initially left the show of his own accord to deal with mounting health issues, it was confirmed by Mike Wolfe that he was not asked back to the show.

How old is Danielle on American Pickers? ›

How old is Fritz from American Pickers? ›

Who is the guy from American Pickers married to? ›

Cline shared a picture of herself and Mike visiting the Harley-Davidson Museum in September. The pair found love after Mike's wife of nearly nine years, Jodi Wolfe, filed for divorce from the reality TV star in July 2021. Mike and Jodi couple share a 10-year-old daughter, Charlie Faeth.

Do American Pickers sell their stuff online? ›

The American Pickers have an online store that primarily sells branded merchandise and souvenirs. They sell their finds in brick-and-mortar stores called Antique Archaeology in Iowa and Tennessee. The original Antique Archaeology store opened in 2000 in the historic Mississippi River town of LeClaire, Iowa.

Can I contact American Pickers? ›

To be considered, contact "American Pickers" at americanpickers@cineflix.com or on Facebook at @GotAPick, or leave a voicemail at 646-493-2184.

How many stores does American Pickers own? ›

There are two brick-and-mortar Antique Archaeology locations — one in Nashville, Tenn. and the other in LeClaire, Iowa. The LeClaire location is the home base for the pickers and features some of their best picks as well as merch for the show and the store itself.

Do the American Pickers drive? ›

But do they actually drive that much? American Pickers is a television show, and flying would probably be cheaper and easier for the cast and crew. But Fritz told a crowd at the 2012 FRY Fest that that's not the pickers' way, and they do drive to every location.

How can I become a picker? ›

To become a picker, you usually need a high school diploma and zero years of experience. The most common jobs before becoming a picker are cashier, sales associate, and customer service representative. Hiring managers expect a picker to have soft skills such as detail oriented, math skills, and customer-service skills.

Why was Frank fired from American Pickers? ›

Last July, Fritz told The Sun he left the "American Pickers" series and is no longer in contact with Wolfe. According to the outlet, Fritz was fired from the hit History Channel show after he took a nearly two-year hiatus to recover from back surgery, which resulted in 185 stitches and two rods in his spine.

Why did Frank leave the show American Pickers? ›

Fritz left the show in March 2020 to undergo back surgery, however, in July 2021, his costar Mike Wolfe confirmed that Fritz would not be returning to the show.

How much did the Aerosmith van sell for? ›

'American Pickers' found, fixed Aerosmith's 1970s tour van

It was nowhere close to running condition, but still had the band's name and artwork painted on the side. After confirming its authenticity, the “Pickers” paid $25,000 for it with plans to bring it back to life.

Why did Mike and Frank fall out? ›

The reason Frank left the show, according to Mike, was because his alcoholism made producing American Pickers difficult. Danielle Colby, the third star of the show, sided with Wolfe in the feud. “We all do care about Frank, and we want him back on the show.

What happened between Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz from American Pickers? ›

So, what happened between Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz? According to The Sun, the friends feuded over their fame. Fritz thought the production team unfairly favored Wolfe. “The show is tilted towards him 1,000 percent,” Fritz said.

Did Frank get fired from American Pickers? ›

It's been more than half a year since Frank Fritz was fired from American Pickers, the History series that had made him a household name and that had been a major component of his livelihood since the series first began airing in 2010.

Were Frank and Mike childhood friends? ›

Before Robbie Wolfe starred in the show, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz teamed up. The childhood friends co-hosted for over 20 seasons before Fritz was dismissed, and their friendship seemed to fray.

Who owns American Pickers? ›

American Pickers (or also known as The Pickers for international) is an American reality television series that premiered on January 18, 2010 on History, produced by A&E Television Networks in collaboration with Cineflix Media.

What is Frank Fritz doing now? ›

Since Frank is in a nursing facility for rehabilitation with impaired decision-making, one of his longtime friends will be acting as his temporary guardian. A local bank will also oversee all living expenses and financial decisions, including property taxes, general living expenses, health insurance, and more.


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