‘American Pickers’: What is the Highest-Rated Episode of Show?

by John Jamison

Fans of American Pickers have seen Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz deal with plenty of characters over the years. They’ve watched as the pickers negotiate some mind-boggling prices for one-of-a-kind antiques. But would you believe us if we told you the show’s highest-rated episode didn’t include Frank Fritz? And yes, it came years before the falling out between Wolfe and his longtime picking buddy.

The second episode of Season 16, titled “Sgt. Picker’s Lonely Hearts Club,” found Mike Wolfe hitting the road with the one and only Danielle Colby. Frank’s cat was down for the count, so he opted to stay home during this particular trip. In St. Louis, Mike and Danielle spent hours exploring a three-story building jam-packed with quality finds. It was basically a huge storage facility for antiques that hadn’t been touched in years.

From there, the pair moved on to central Illinois, where they stumbled upon an old-school drive-in theater. The proprietor, a man named Mike, revealed an old reel he’d saved from the trash years ago. As it happens, the film depicted rock royalty, The Beatles, during a trip to the United States. After calling up an expert who confirmed the rarity of such original footage, Wolfe made an offer at $400 and sealed the deal.

It seems like your typical episode of American Pickers, right? Granted, it was a bit more exciting than usual. Perhaps we can chalk that up to the change of pace provided by Danielle Colby. Whatever the reasons, “Sgt. Picker’s Lonely Hearts Club” is the highest-rated episode of the long-running series to date.

According to IMDb, the episode earned an 8.7 out of 10.

‘American Pickers’ Tries to Keep Interaction Organic as Possible

Mike Wolfe isn’t showing up on someone’s property with a camera crew unannounced. That’s a recipe for disaster. So some groundwork goes into prepping collectors and property owners before American Pickers goes ahead and films them.

“The camera crew, the director will go to the door and ask if it is OK. They’ll get written consent and then mic up the people and then go to the door. We try to keep it as genuine as possible so the first meeting you get to see along with the householder,” Danielle Colby told Gary James.

Mike Wolfe has recounted a few situations where he independently investigated some potential picking locations and was met with a gun in his face. He’s clearly learned from those situations.

“However, you do need to get permission to be on the property because, especially in the places these boys go down South, You don’t want to pull up on somebody’s property without permission. You’ll find yourself run-off pretty quick,” Colby continued.