Big news for American Pickers fans: Frank Fritz will not be returning to the History Channel's hit show. Fritz has costarred alongside Mike Wolfe and Danielle Colby since the antiques-hunting show began in 2010, appearing in more than 300 episodes. And it sounds like his departure is not without controversy.
During an interview with The Sun, Fritz revealed some behind-the-scenes drama many fans didn't know about. "I didn't leave the show. I finished shooting and then I had a little back surgery and the pandemic came," Fritz explained. He also went on to explain that he and Wolfe are no longer in touch. "I haven't talked to Mike in two years. He knew my back was messed up, but he didn't call me up and ask how I was doing. That's just how it is."
Fritz continued: "The show is tilted towards him 1,000%. I can't even bend that far down to show you how much. That's fine. It's like you've got Aerosmith and there's Steven Tyler and he's the frontman. I found my spot, I'm second and he's number one on the show. That's no problem with me, maybe he does have a problem." He speculated that Wolfe wants his brother Robbie to join the show in Fritz's place, but that claim has not been confirmed by Wolfe or History Channel.
Wolfe made a lengthy statement on Instagram to address Frank's departure.
I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he’s been like a brother to me. The journey that Frank, Dani and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding. The support that you all have given us has been a constant reminder of what the show’s message has always been; thru these places, people, and things we all have a common thread. We’re here to not only take care of the past, but also each other. I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey.
Colby made her own statement about the news on Instagram.
Out on the road again with my best friend and my big brother whose I support fully and stand behind. Thank you for the last decade of advocacy towards myself and others on set. @mikewolfeamericanpicker I’m proud of how you have handled the last 12 years and look forward to many more years of rolling around this big blue marble together. I’m truly saddened for the loss of Frank on the show. I’m incredibly sad for his struggles. I have personally watched everything over the last decade. I have many thoughts but won’t speak them as they are only my thoughts, not gospel. I wish things could have been different but we must be accountable for our actions when we cause instability or pain and suffering to others. Frank caused so much pain for himself that it has been hard to watch. I truly hope Frank receives all the help he needs to become well after years of being unwell. It is not my place to speak Ill of someone who needs help so I will keep my comments uplifting. I’m sending love to everyone. The only reason I’m speaking to this right now is because everybody is speculating on my words and my words are being taken out of context in tabloid rags because they can’t interview me because I will not interview with a tabloid rag. So if you wanna know how I feel. Here’s exactly how I feel. I hope everybody gets well. I hope everybody continues to love each other even through the hard shit.
After hearing the news, fans expressed their disappointment on the American Pickers Instagram post. "May as well cancel the show. Without Frank it just isn’t the same," one wrote. Another viewer said, "I will miss Frank. The show won’t be the same without him."
One person wrote, "I hate to see Frank off the show. He was my favorite. American Pickers wont be the same without him. With sadness in my heart i am going to stop watching the show. I have been a faithful fan from the beginning." A fan suggested, "They could develop a series featuring just Frank, old oil cans and antique toys and I'd watch it!"
But it doesn't stop there.
After Fritz read Wolfe's Instagram statement, he did another interview with The Sun, this time calling out Wolfe directly. “Mike’s statement was bulls---, somebody wrote it out for him," he said. “We never were friends in grade school. I don’t believe in ten years he’s said five nice things to me, you know? Unless he was cutting somebody else down and we were both laughing.”
Fritz also reiterated that he never heard from his co-star after he hurt his back. "He knows I hurt my back, everyone in the whole network knew I hurt my back, but did one person - just one - call and see how I was? No. So how does that make you feel? It makes you feel like you’re just a number," he said.
It doesn't seem like Wolfe has responded to Fritz's latest comments. While we don't know what the show will be like without the trio together, we do hope they have a chance to smooth out their relationship.
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