In 2010, History channel premiered American Pickers, which followed two antique and collectible “pickers” named Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. They would travel around the United States to buy or “pick” various items. 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 Fitz’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 recently, fans have noticed that Fritz hasn’t appeared on the show since March 2020.
Fritz revealed all in a new interview with The Sun. He also debuted a 65-pound weight loss and also revealed that he first was taking time off the show to have back surgery, but then the pandemic hit.
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
“It’s up to the network whether I come back on the show. It ain’t gonna affect me one bit. 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 and that his back is “doing perfect.”
Not long after this interview was released, Fritz’s revealing interview, Wolfe has released a statement of his own…and the show confirmed Fritz will not be returning to American Pickers.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Wolfe’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.’”
Now, 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.”
She continued, “Frank caused so much pain for himself that it has been hard to watch. I truly hope Frank receives all the help he needs to become well after years of being unwell. It is not my place to speak Ill of someone who needs help so I will keep my comments uplifting. I’m sending love to everyone. The only reason I’m speaking to this right now is because everybody is speculating on my words and my words are being taken out of context in tabloid rags because they can’t interview me because I will not interview with a tabloid rag. So if you wanna know how I feel. Here’s exactly how I feel. I hope everybody gets well.”
See her full post below.