‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Pitched the Show for Five Years Before it Was Finally Picked Up

by Megan Molseed

It really is quite a concept. Collectors travel all across the country finding hidden treasures in any and every place that they go. From picking through old barns, backyards, and junkyards, to attics, crawlspaces and so much more, the “American Pickers” will go almost anywhere to score a good find. And, when they discover the perfect item, they may be willing to pay quite well during the bargaining process.

“American Pickers” was first premiered on the History Channel in 2010. However, according to a recent interview, it took quite a bit of time for the series creator and the star of the show to make the series a reality.

“I shared some of my experiences with my friends, and they said, ‘You should buy a video camera,’ so I did,” Mike Wolfe explained during an interview with Southeastern Antiquing and Collecting Magazine.

Wolfe mounted his camera on the dash of the vehicle during his travels and talked as he drove around searching for unique finds. Pretty much the show that we see today.

“I made videos and posted them on my website,” Wolfe explained of how “American Pickers” came to be. “With those videos, I started pitching the concept, and I finally sold it to the History Channel.”

However, Mike noted, it wasn’t an easy sell.

The “American Pickers” Idea Finally Sold

“It was a five-year process,” the television host said of his repeated pitches to sell “American Pickers” to the History Channel. While it may have taken some time to convince the cable television channel to take a gamble on the unusual concept, it was one that proved to be fruitful.

Earlier this month, it was announced that Wolfe’s longtime “American Pickers” cohost, Frank Fritz would not be returning to the show in the coming months. Frank Fritz’s final episode aired last year.

According to a recent Sun report, while Frank Fritz may be missed, his exit hasn’t affected the show’s overall ratings. Recent episodes of the popular series have brought in over 1.3 million viewers. Frank’s last show, which aired on March 2 of 2020 pulled in just over 1.28 million viewers. In the newest episode of “American Pickers,” which aired July 19, viewership was as high as 1,322,000 viewers. The July 5 episode pulled in 1,336,000 viewers.

The Sun can exclusively reveal ratings have remained strong since Frank’s departure, as recent episodes have reached over 1.3 million viewers.

On the March 2, 2020 episode, which was Frank’s final show, 1,282,000 viewers tuned in to watch the popular series.

Frank left the show after filming the March 2 episode in order to recover from back surgery. While recuperating from the surgery, Frank decided to make some lifestyle changes, losing 65 pounds and quitting alcohol.

“I didn’t like drinking anymore,” the former “American Pickers” host said. “My mom was an alcoholic and she died five years ago and it was alcohol-related. My grandfather was an alcoholic and he died. That didn’t sit well with me.”