Mike Wolfe’s American Pickers had a much slower start than most mainstream reality shows. But after a lot of dedication and resilience, he managed to land a contract with the History Channel. And as most of you know, the story turned out well for Wolfe. He’s built an entire empire on his humble beginnings, and his series is still running 11 years later.
Mike Wolfe met writer Jeanne Veillette Bowerman during a pick in 2013 and told her all about his climb to fame. And part of his story included Danielle Colby, who ran Antique Archeology in Nashville and helped the guys plan their trips. According to him, the History Channel didn’t want her on the show. But Wolfe never takes “no” for an answer. So he simply didn’t listen when they told him to fire the starlet.
“I had known Danielle for 15 years,” he told Bowerman. “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.”
Danielle took on a lot of the responsibilities that Wolfe struggled to manage alone. She would find barns and houses all over the country that could hold TV-worthy treasures. He desperately needed the help with American Pickers and Danielle was his friend, so hiring her was an easy choice.
Danielle Colby Joined the Cast of ‘American Pickers’
“What you see Danielle doing on the show, that’s what I used to do,” he continued. “I would research my trips, have five or six places I would go, then I would do freestyling, showing up in spots, and looking for stuff. I hired her.“
But the History Channel wanted nothing to do with the new cast member.
“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.”
Mike Wolfe refused to dismiss Colby, so the History Channel continued to film the show and just left her out of the scenes. But the crew noticed that she and the guys had great chemistry, so they vouched for Colby and told the producers to reconsider her place on American Pickers.
“After the crew saw us for about a week in the shop, and what we were doing, they started filming her on their iPhones and sent the footage to History and then decided to bring her into the show.”