‘American Pickers’ Marks Major Change as Frank Fritz Continues Recovery

by Alex Falls

It’s been a long road for American Pickers since the controversial exit of former host Frank Fritz. In the immediate aftermath, ratings for the show took quite the dive. Fans were unhappy with Mike Wolfe and his replacement of Fritz with brother Robbie Wolfe.

However, the show’s ratings woes seem to be bouncing back somewhat. In recent weeks since the news broke that Fritz is recovering from his recent stroke, ratings have been on the rise. The August 20th episode, “Knucklehead Blue, Salty & Sweet Pickins Part 1,” bumped the show into more than 1 million viewers for the first time in months. The episode was set in North Carolina and featured Mike bargaining over a rare Mountain Dew statue.

New episodes of American Pickers began airing on Saturday nights back in July. While Fritz was part of the show episodes held viewership numbers around 1.3 million per episode. But the trajectory moved down after Fritz’s firing and new timeslot.

Episodes earlier this summer drew an audience of just over 800,000 total viewers. Some of those episodes were closer to 900,000 viewers. But an episode on July 29th only saw 821,000 viewers tune in. 

With Fritz on the mend, it seems more people have decided to tune into some of the most recent picks by the Wolfe brothers. The latest episode drew 1,007,000 viewers according to The Sun. Can the show maintain this momentum?

Frank Fritz’s Road to Recovery

The dramatic tale behind-the-scenes of American Pickers took a tragic turn when Fritz fell into a coma and became hospitalized earlier this summer. Fritz faces a long road to recovery, but according to his friends, “he’s getting better every day.”

“He would like everyone to know he continues to get better every day,” the source revealed. The release notes that Fritz is “very determined” in his healing process. The source also noted that the former host of American Pickers is still not prepared to speak publically about his condition. However, Fritz did say in his statement that he is “grateful for all of the prayers and well wishes.”

Fritz also hopes anyone who would like to contribute to his road to recovery to instead contribute something to his local Scott County Iowa Human Society. He encourages people to donate to the organization or consider adopting an animal themselves.

“On his road to recovery, he is asking (fans) to donate or to adopt a pet from our local Humane Society of Scott County,” the statement notes. “As he is planning on adopting a cat in the near future, this is an organization that he is very passionate about.”

Fritz remains in professional care as he continues to recover from his stroke. American Pickers continues its journey across America looking for antique treasures hidden in people’s private collections and junk piles. Mike Wolfe replaced Fritz with his brother Robbie much to the criticism of many fans.