According to former American Pickers star Frank Fritz, a lot of the show wasn’t real. At least one part of the show was authentic, though.
Fritz was a key part of the first 21 seasons of the popular reality show. Along with Mike Wolfe, the two drove across the country looking for antiques. Obviously, since the two spent a lot of time together, you’d think they were best buds. But when Fritz left the show after a falling out, he bared it all. According to him, the two weren’t really friends and had a rocky past. By the way he spoke about Wolfe and American Pickers, nothing about the show seemed genuine.
The formula for American Pickers felt flawless. Two friends, traveling across the country, in search of conveniently-found interesting and expensive antiques. Many thought that if any part of the show was fake, it would be the antiques. As it turns out, the antiques might be the most real part of the series. Frank Fritz confirmed that the items they saw were all authentic. So were the interactions that Fritz and Wolfe had with the owners.
According to him, the footage from meeting people and going into their homes is always 100% real. “The camera guys get there ahead of us, and they’ll take a look around and get an idea of what’s there,” Fritz said. “But when you see us walk into a barn or someone’s house, we are meeting those people for the first time.”
Meeting People Made the Show Worth it For Frank Fritz
For Frank Fritz, the people were the best part of the job. In fact, he likes meeting the owners more than he likes seeing the antiques themselves. That makes his time on the show even more interesting. While we may never know what parts of American Pickers are fake or not fake, at least we know the interactions are real.
Unfortunately, meeting great people and seeing amazing items wasn’t enough for Frank Fritz to stay with the show. Many fans were upset about his departure, and ratings reflected that. As the 23rd season of American Pickers started airing on TV, ratings dropped by an alarming amount. Without Frank Fritz, it seems like fans just aren’t as interested in the show. For some, it probably has a lot to do with Fritz himself. Others may not like his replacement, Mike Wolfe’s younger brother Robbie.
Whatever the case, the numbers are worrying. Let’s compare some episode stats. The show’s last episode with Frank Fritz had an impressive 1,282,000 viewers. Viewer ratings stayed well above 1.25 million, up until the show announced that Fritz had been fired and would not be returning. The episode that followed that announcement dropped considerably in viewership, with just 960,000 viewers. Only time will tell if the show can recover from the loss of Fritz.