“American Pickers” is clearly an awesome concept for a show. Though it’s hard to believe just how much success it has found since premiering in 2010. It’s even harder still when considering how long it took Mike Wolfe to convince any TV network whatsoever that he was sitting on a rusty goldmine.
When the History channel finally did take a chance, they were surprised to find they had a hit on their hands all of a sudden. But at the end of the day, America is one of hundreds of countries. What’s stopping a different place from doing the same thing?
The answer is nothing. There have been at least two major spinoff versions of “American Pickers” in different countries near and far. In fact, one of the places is close as you can get to the States and the other is on the opposite side of the planet, literally the farthest country away.
In 2011, just a year after “American Pickers” premiered, our neighbors to the north got in on the action with a show called “Canadian Pickers.” It ran from 2011 to 2013, produced four seasons, and featured Scott Cozens and Sheldon Smithens. The pickers traveled the reaches of the Great White North in search of valuable antiques and good stories. The show still airs reruns and is pretty much the same model as “American Pickers.”
Now, how about a quick 15-20 hour flight across entire oceans to another English-speaking country. In 2013, our friends, the Australians, took a crack at a picking show with the same format. Called “Aussie Pickers,” the show featured Lucas Callaghan and Adam McDonald as they traversed the considerably warmer terrain of Australia on the hunt for rusty gold. The show was short-lived, running for two seasons from 2013 to 2014.
‘American Pickers’ Star Mike Wolfe Opened the Door for Pickers in Other Countries
Mike Wolfe singlehandedly created those spinoff shows by way of making “American Pickers” a success. But it was far from easy. He spent years on the road filming himself, trying to figure everything out. And when he finally did try to pitch the idea for the show to networks, no one was biting.
“It was a long journey. I remember having the idea for the show. And a friend of mine said, she goes – and I was coming back all the time from the east coast, and all over the country, with stuff – and she goes, ‘Where are you getting this stuff at?’ I said, ‘Well, I bought it here,’ and I told her the story of the guy. And she’s like, ‘You need to just buy a camera and start documenting some of this stuff,” Wolfe told Small Town Big Deal in 2016.
After persisting and figuring out what people liked and didn’t like about his pitch, he found a home for himself on History. And the rest is… well, you know.