In the summer of 2021, it was revealed that Frank Fritz, one of the stars of the History Channel show American Pickers, would no longer be part of the series. American Pickers followed Fritz and Mike Wolfe around the country as they bought or “picked” various items from collectors. They then resell the items for either their personal collections or for clients.
For ten years, the two men have taken their finds to different storefronts. Fritz’s store is in Savanna, Illinois and is called Frank Fritz Finds. Wolfe has two locations of his Antique Archaeology stores in Le Claire, Iowa and Nashville, Tennessee. There have been 22 seasons of the show with 325 episodes, but fans noticed that Fritz hadn’t appeared on the show since March 2020 even though his image was still being used for marketing and merchandise for months.
Lets make the best of our Monday night with the Best of American PIckers 9/8c on HISTORY pic.twitter.com/Q5OqM1sJGT
— American Pickers (@americanpickers) March 23, 2020
In July 2021, Fritz gave an interview to The Sun explaining why he isn’t in new episodes. He also revealed a 65-pound weight loss.
American Pickers' Frank drops 65 lbs as he resurfaces for first time in a year https://t.co/Y9VGZnelhj
— The Sun TV (@TheSunTV) July 19, 2021
In the interview, he revealed that he first was taking time off the show to have back surgery and then the pandemic hit, saying that it was up to the network whether he comes back to the show.
“I didn’t leave the show, I finished shooting and then I had a little back surgery and the pandemic came,” he said in the interview.
Fritz added that after the surgery, Wolfe never contacted him to find out how he was doing…and they haven’t spoken since, making it about two years since they’ve talked!
He revealed, “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. The show is tilted towards him 1,000 percent. I can’t even bend that far down to show you how much. That’s fine. It’s like you’ve got Aerosmith and there’s Steven Tyler and he’s the front man. 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.”
And while Mike has claimed in the media that Frank’s absence is because of his back surgery, Frank reassured The Sun that he is back to full physical health.
“My back is doing perfect. I had a couple of rods put in there. It was from lifting stuff all the time,” he said. “If you watch the show you can see who the guy is that’s lifting all the time, it’s always me. It had been hurting for a long, long time. I’m talking months and months and months.”
A few days after Fritz’s revealing interview, Wolfe released a statement of his own…and the show confirmed Fritz will not be returning to American Pickers.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Wofle’s statement reads:
“I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he’s been like a brother to me. 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.”
EW also reports that “History Channel has no plans to bring Fritz back and he doesn’t factor into the show’s ‘big picture.’”
the other star of the show, Mike’s right hand woman, Danielle Colby, who helps him run his storefront, has broken her silence following Frank’s interview.
“I’m truly saddened for the loss of Frank on the show. I’m incredibly sad for his struggles,” she wrote on Instagram. “I have personally watched everything over the last decade. I have many thoughts but won’t speak them as they are only my my thoughts, not gospel. I wish things could have been different but we must be accountable for our actions when we cause instability or pain and suffering to others.”
On November 11, the official American Pickers Facebook page shared a post about where Mike will be picking soon, and fans were not shy about wanting Frank back on the show. Of the almost 700 comments on the post, a good majority of them were saying they won’t be watching without Frank.
See some reactions below.
“Haven’t bothered watching since Frank left. Don’t care for Mike’s brother whatever his name and anything with Danielle I fast forward.”
“No Frank not watching”
“Stopped watching bring Frank back”
“Not the same without Frank”
“Let me know when you bring back Frank, until then I will not be interested in watching your show. What a way to treat a childhood friend….”
“Is Frank back yet? We want Frank!”
“With out frank, the show is not the same, bring back Frank”
See the post, with more comments