‘American Pickers’ Season 23 Premiere Struggles in Ratings Without Frank Fritz

by Matthew Memrick

Fans missing former “American Pickers” co-host Frank Fritz showed how they missed the star in Season 23’s early ratings.

The season’s first show was on Jan. 1 with longtime host Mike Wolfe and his brother/new host Robbie Wolfe. Fritz’s firing has stirred up many show fans.

One Frank fan went on a ratings Twitter post and said, “FRANK IS EVERYTHING.” That’s how much they love him still.

The 57-year-old last appeared in a March 2020 show and looked to recover from back surgery.

The U.S. Sun reported on the results recently. Last week’s premiere brought in 1,050,000 viewers, while the Season 22 premiere on Jan. 25 of last year pulled in 1,273,000 viewers. Even though those ratings were above a million viewers, the numbers dropped off from previous seasons.

The next “American Pickers” episode titled “Country Road Gold” will be broadcast on Saturday on the History Network.

Ratings History Better Than Season 23’s First Fritz-less Show

Maybe it will take a while for “American Pickers” fans to warm up to Robbie Wolfe and his younger brother.

According to the U.S. Sun, the Season 22 mid-season ratings were also higher. The Jul. 5 show had 1,336,000 viewers, and Jul. 19 scored 1,322,000 fans.

The Wolfe brothers did outpace the Season 22 finale. That Sept. 6 show from last year got about 1,028,000 “American Pickers” viewers.

It makes sense that those Frank-filled episodes got more eyeballs. On Mar. 2, 2020, the host’s final episode logged 1,282,000 viewers. 

Fritz Firing Good And Bad 

With Robbie Wolfe firmly featured in cast photos and on the show’s website, many Frank fans still have memories of his ugly ouster. 

Show producers announced Fritz’s firing in July as the longtime host said he wanted to come back to the show. According to reports, Fritz’s intensive back surgery included 185 stitches and two rods in his spine. 

The host, who often sat for long rides in the show van with co-star Mike Wolfe, started a healthier lifestyle. After a 77-day Iowa rehabilitation center visit, he gave up drinking alcohol and lost 65 pounds. 

Fritz also attends meetings twice a week after the stint.

But Fritz opened up about his longtime friend Mike Wolfe. The two went two years without speaking even though they first became friends as teenagers.

Fritz told the U.S. Sun that his co-star knew about the back surgery, but he “didn’t call me up and ask how I was doing.” Fritz expressed strong feelings about how the “American Pickers” show was focused more on Mike Wolfe.

The former co-host said he thought, “Mike wants to get his brother Robbie in there to replace me. I don’t know why he’s behaving like that towards me.”

But Frank has things to keep him busy these days. He owns his own “American Pickers”-like Frank Fritz Finds in Savanna, Ill. and lives in his native Iowa.