‘American Pickers’: How Mike Wolfe Knew the Show Made It

by Jonathan Howard
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While the show has been a success since it came on TV, American Pickers had its share of struggles. Mike Wolfe has talked about it in the past. Pitching a show is never easy. Even when it gets to television, nothing is guaranteed to succeed.

Wolfe worried about the success of the show early on. It only makes sense. He had spent years trying to get a production company to bite. Finally, he was able to do that, and yet he still had to get eyeballs on his show.

In an interview from 2013 with Script Mag, Wolfe talked about the worry with ratings. He also went into an entirely new series without a pilot. History took a chance on American Pickers that paid off.

“History was hoping we’d get a 1.5 [in the ratings]. As weeks went on, we got 3.2, 4.2, 5.2, 6.2…. all of a sudden, between us and Pawn Stars, we were pulling 12 to 13 million viewers every Monday night, which is insane for a cable network,” Wolfe explained.

Of course, there were years worth of effort put into the show. He tried for so long to get his show on TV. After five years, he finally had a network willing to take a chance on his show. He made the most of it. History put Wolfe and Frank Fritz all over the place.

“There were records the show hit with ratings. It was the first show that History ever bought without a pilot. They wanted it right away and bought 10 episodes. There were a lot of things going on, and all of a sudden we had History’s publicist calling us, putting us in The New York Times, on Letterman, Rachel Ray, and Anderson Cooper.”

All these years later and American Pickers is still going strong.

‘American Pickers’ Fans Want Frank Fritz Back, Bad

Over the years American Pickers has become its own brand. They have a fan base and they are very loyal. That is why many of the fans are so upset that Frank Fritz is not with the show any longer. According to Fritz, he and Wolfe have not spoken in about two years. That is quite an estranged relationship.

Since the news was announced earlier this year, fans have asked the show on social media to bring back the former costar. The latest example happened when the Twitter account for the show shared a Halloween post. Although they urged fans to get some new merch in time for trick or treating, the fans had other ideas.

The viewers in the replies were not happy with the show. One user said that they thought it was time to “boycott American Pickers.”

“It really bother[s] me they kicked Frank to the curb. With friends like that who needs enemies. Just makes me sick. What [happened] to Mike’s wife?”

While that seems a bit more personal than it needs to be, the post got nine likes. There is a strong contingent of American Pickers fans in the pro-Frank lobby for sure.

Outsider.com