‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Reflected on Decisions That Were Make or Break for the Show

by Quentin Blount

If you’re a fan of American Pickers, then you know that Mike Wolfe is the face of the show. But deep down, he’s even more than that.

Mike Wolfe is the star of the History Channel’s American Pickers. We have all enjoyed watching him go around the country looking for old antiques and treasures. But Wolfe is also the creator of the popular show. At one point, he was still so new to the network and to the industry in general, that he didn’t have full control over the direction of everything

Despite all of that, the show proved to be successful and Wolfe had a few seasons of experience. So, the network has since learned to trust Wolfe’s instincts. But if he would have given into the network’s demands over the years on different occasions, there is a chance that the show would have been completely different. And perhaps it would have never have gotten the ratings it has. The American Pickers star explained as much to Script Mag back in 2013.

“It probably wouldn’t even be on the air anymore, to be honest with you,” he said. “Don’t get me wrong, there’s always give and take in collaboration. Like tomorrow, I have my EP from History flying into Nashville and we’re going to sit down and talk about season five. They are listening to me. It’s not just a title I have as an EP. In fact, when I started, I didn’t even know what an EP was. My cameraman was telling me, ‘Hey dude, you’re the EP. You’re the boss. Tell him how you feel.'”

“I was like, ‘I’m his boss?'” he laughed. “Then I got to the point I’d joke and say, ‘Hey, don’t make me pull out the EP.'”

‘American Pickers’ Ratings Keep Going Up

Back when the show first started, the History Channel had certain ratings in mind that they wanted to hit. It turns out that they blew those initial ratings right out of the water.

“History was hoping we’d get a 1.5. As weeks went on, we got 3.2, 4.2, 5.2, 6.2,” Wolfe explained. “All of a sudden, between us and Pawn Stars, we were pulling 12 to 13 million viewers every Monday night. Which is insane for a cable network.”

Those ratings and all of that success led to more exposure from some of America’s biggest talk shows.

“There were records the show hit with ratings. It was the first show that History ever bought without a pilot. They wanted it right away and both 10 episodes. There were a lot of things going on, and all of a sudden we had History’s publicist calling us, putting us in The New York Times, on Letterman, Rachel Ray, and Anderson Cooper.”