‘American Pickers’: Mike Wolfe Spent Hours Every Day Making Contacts To Get the Show Off the Ground

by Quentin Blount
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Are you an American Pickers fan? If so, you may enjoy reading about how Mike Wolfe spent hours every day to get the show off the ground in its early stages.

It may go without saying, but whenever we watch a show, we are seeing the cleaned-up, finished product. We don’t always get to see the work that goes in behind the scenes to bring the show to our televisions. And there was a lot of that kind of work that happened way before American Pickers ever came to fruition.

Both relationships on air and off air take a lot of work. We know that much. So, to get American Pickers off the ground, Mike Wolfe had to get creative in building a strong network. He spent hours upon hours before the show ever got underway doing just that.

“I’d wake up every day and spend at least two or three hours on the show — making calls, making contacts, and sending emails,” Wolfe told Script Magazine. “There’s so much information at your fingertips now. I would watch shows, see who produced the ones I liked, who wrote them, who was the EP (Executive Producer). I’d look them up online and send them emails directly.”

Mike Wolfe Signs with JWM Productions to Produce ‘American Pickers’

Wolfe knew exactly what he wanted, so it took him a while to pitch his idea to the right company. But eventually, he crossed paths with JWM Productions. JWM was producing shows for History Channel at the time so it seemed like a great fit for what would eventually become the American Pickers we know today.

“When I did sign with the JWM, they pitched the show, and everyone passed. They said it was over,” Wolfe explained.

But that wasn’t enough for Wolfe. In many ways, he is a perfectionist. He wanted to know what everyone liked and disliked about his pitch so he could make the necessary adjustments.

“I said tell me who passed. They told him their names. Then I would research the person, get their email, and then contact them myself asking why did you turn it down, what did you like about it and what didn’t you like about it?”

One of the contacts Wolfe made was a woman with The Learning Channel (TLC). He talked about how she gave him constructive criticism.

“One of the people was Sara Kozak from The Learning Channel. It was a process of my learning what I could, even if they gave me only 30 seconds. I’d get something like, ‘I loved it but…’ I learned so much during that whole process.”

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