‘American Pickers’ Ratings Nosedive Following Risky Network Move

by Caitlin Berard

The beloved treasure hunting show American Pickers has enjoyed over a decade of success. In more recent years, however, the show’s ratings have been inconsistent at best. After a spring hiatus, American Pickers returned to the History Channel on July 9. But the mid-season premiere drew only 833,000 viewers.

To put that into perspective, the earliest episodes of Season 23 had more than a million people tuning in to catch Mike Wolfe‘s latest find. The series’ ratings fluctuate from week to week but have been on an overall decline since Frank Fritz’s shocking firing.

On August 20, the show finally regained its million-viewer status, drawing 1,007,000 fans for the episode. The latest episode, however, saw another ratings nosedive, with American Pickers bringing in just 829,000 viewers. In a single week, the series lost a whopping 200,000 viewers.

Though a portion of the decline can be attributed to the Frank-less episodes, it’s likely in large part due to an unexpected network shift. Rather than its usual 9 pm time slot, the History Channel aired American Pickers an hour earlier at 8 pm.

‘American Pickers’ Fan Boycott Series Following Frank Fritz Firing

American Pickers fans like Mike Wolfe, but they love Frank Fritz. And for many fans of the long-running reality TV series, it simply isn’t the same without their favorite treasure hunter.

In 2020, Frank Fritz took time away from the show to undergo back surgery. A year later, he was “100 percent recovered and ready to roll,” but was fired instead. Following the shocking announcement, Mike Wolfe found himself embroiled in controversy, many fans blaming him for the lack of Frank Fritz.

And though it’s now been more than a year since news broke of Frank Fritz’s firing, American Pickers fans remain enraged. Many have even threatened to boycott the series until Frank returns, a threat that clearly held weight, as the series has lost hundreds of thousands of viewers since.

Mike Wolfe attempted to fill the space left by Frank’s absence by hiring his brother, Robbie Wolfe. Fans, however, are wholly against the shift. “The show needs Frank, Mike, and Dani. Stop changing it. I’m sure Robbie is a nice guy but comes across boring on TV,” one fan explained.

“I watched the new season with the Wolfe Brothers. Need to bring back Frank. Robbie has no personality he is absolutely boring!!!” another wrote. “Unless Frank is in the new episode, it won’t be worth watching! Robbie is a disaster, but Mike won’t admit it!” agreed a third.