‘American Pickers:’ When Did the First-Ever Episode Air?

by Joe Rutland
american-pickers-when-did-first-ever-episode-air

American Pickers is one of those shows people love to watch when there are new episodes or even reruns. When did the first episode air?

It was on Jan. 18, 2010, that the episode called Big Bear introduced the History Channel viewers to Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz. According to the show’s write-up on IMDb, “Mike and Frank hunt for collectibles in Central Iowa, try to break the ice with an avid collector who’s reluctant to sell, track down a retired carnie with an awesome collection of vintage rides, and come across an iconic mechanical statue once so famous most of America knew it by name.”

That’s a lot of stuff happening in the first episode of American Pickers. But it would set the pace that Wolfe and Fritz would follow throughout their searches for antiques and collectibles.

‘American Pickers’ Keeps On Rolling Along After Fritz Gets Bounced

The History Channel show continues to run even those Fritz is no longer a part of it. Due to health reasons and even a rift with his longtime friend Wolfe, Fritz found himself getting the heave-ho from American Pickers.

It’s gotten quite a following throughout its decade-plus run. But viewers seemingly love to watch the “pickers” go and seek out new items to buy and collect. While the opening episode was in Iowa, where Wolfe’s office is located in Le Claire, Iowa, the show has gone all over the United States.

One thing they don’t do on the show, though, is to talk about what city they are in for episodes. Why not do this as it would, obviously, be good publicity for the city and show?

Wolfe was interviewed by columnist Georgette Braun of the Rockford Register Star in 2011 about keeping certain things secret.

“Six million people watch this show,” Wolfe said. “We don’t want people bothered.”

Wolfe Learned That The History Channel, Not Him, Owns TV Show

A solid answer to keep American Pickers on the down-low when visiting different cities.

By the way, there are probably a lot of avid viewers wondering if they are going to get a preplacement for Fritz. No word has come down from either Wolfe or the History Channel about another partner for Wolfe. He’s continuing to do the show by himself and involve his office manager, Danielle Colby, where needed.

It’s interesting, though, to note that Wolfe does not actually own American Pickers. The History Channel does and once he made the connection, then Wolfe went to work.

“History [Channel] said something to me about four years ago, and I’ll never forget it: ‘We’re not in the Mike Wolfe business, we’re in the American Pickers business.’ And that woke me up,” Wolfe told Fast Company in 2015.

Outsider.com