The newest season of American Pickers hasn’t exactly set the world on fire. The various changes to the show have taken a toll on the popular History Channel series when it comes to fans’ opinions. Most aspects of the show have stayed the same since Season 23’s New Year’s Day debut. However, Robbie Wolfe has officially taken over for longtime host Frank Fritz, and fans have deemed him “boring” so far in his new role.
On the surface, Robbie seemed like a natural choice to replace Frank. Mike’s brother has been involved with American Pickers for years. According to IMDB, Robbie has appeared on the show 98 times since the series premiered in 2010. Additionally, he’s gone out on the road and picked items like the rest of the cast. So the backlash is somewhat surprising, especially since fans should be used to Robbie on American Pickers by now.
“Show really stinks without Frank. I’d be worried Mike,” a fan wrote on Twitter.
“The show needs Frank, Mike & Dani. Stop changing it,” another fan tweeted. “I’m sure Robbie is a nice guy but comes across boring on TV.”
“I watched the new season with the Wolfe Brothers. Need to bring back Frank. Robbie has no personality he is absolutely boring!!!” a third American Pickers fan wrote..
While the criticisms seem personal, they may simply have more to do with Fritz’s exit. Many viewers vowed to never watch the series again following Frank’s dismissal. This could be a case of fans following through with their refusal to watch until Fritz returns. Yet there is no indication that the bearded fan-favorite host will return anytime soon.
‘American Pickers’ TV Ratings Have Declined Since Frank Fritz’s Exit
The last time American Pickers fans saw Frank Fritz on the show was last spring. The 57-year-old had grueling back surgery and missed time before the series announced his departure in July 2021. Fritz expressed his desire to return to the show, but filming has gone on without him to fans’ surprise.
Since Fritz’s official exit last summer, the show’s ratings have decreased, which might be directly tied to Frank’s absence. In fact, the series has lost hundreds of thousands of viewers since Season 23 premiered earlier this month.
On January 1, American Pickers Season 23 premiered with 1,050,000 viewers tuning in to watch. Compared to the Season 22 premiere on January 25, 2021 that pulled in 1,273,000 viewers, the show lost more than 200,000 fans in the last year.
Even midseason episodes with Fritz attracted more viewers than the Season 23 debut. For example, an episode that aired on March 2, 2020 boasted 1,282,000 viewers. So far, it looks like the controversy surrounding Frank Fritz’s exit from the series is impacting ratings more than the network may have expected.