American Pickers has been going strong for more than a decade now. Mike Wolfe once stated he spent years pitching the show’s idea to different networks before The History Channel finally bit on the concept. However, even after that, Wolfe had preparations to make to ensure the show’s success.
Speaking to Script Magazine years ago, Mike Wolfe reflected on the show’s beginnings and preparing for film crews. After The History Channel bought the show, film crews came to his Iowa shop ready to go. So, how did Wolfe prepare for the onslaught?
“I had just acquired the building a month before. So when they said we sold the show, I knew this building would be the set. I wasn’t creating a retail shop anymore; I was creating a TV set. I knew what I wanted it to look like,” Wolfe told the outlet. “I wanted the car in front. I wanted something cool, not just a sign. A big target logo on the front of the building. So Danielle painted everything. If you watch the show early on, you’ll see the desk… all of that was orchestrated by me.”
Wolfe has said before he pitched the idea for years and turned down numerous networks offering him a deal. It makes sense he already had a solid idea for how he wanted the shop to look and where the crew should be.
Mike Wolfe Stated The History Channel Initially Didn’t Want Danielle Colby on the Show
When you hear American Pickers, chances are you think of Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and/or Danielle Colby. It may surprise you to learn according to Wolfe, the show didn’t want to film Colby at first.
In the same Script Magazine interview, Mike Wolfe spoke about how Colby was a big part of his picking identity. Nonetheless, The History Channel initially said they didn’t want her on the show. Wolfe being the negotiator he is played hardball with the network, not taking “no” for an answer.
“I had known Danielle for 15 years. She had just closed her store in LeClaire, and I approached her and said History bought the show, and I want her to be on it. I needed her to do the research of where we’re going.” Mike previously took on her responsibilities alone, but it proved to be taxing.
When the network showed up to film, they continued saying they wouldn’t include her. “They (History Channel) came Sept 8th, they’re filming me and Frank and asked who Danielle is. They said, ‘We’re not filming her… we have no contract with her… History just wants you and Frank.’ I explained she is the one telling us where to go, and I think it would benefit all of us if they filmed her. They said no.”
In the end, the film crew noticed their amazing chemistry and recorded them on their iPhones. After reviewing the footage, producers finally caved and Colby became a mainstay.