#AmericanPickers' Frank Fritz Not Returning to History Channel Series Amid Feud With Co-Host Mike Wolfe tvline.com/2021/07/21/american-pickers-frank-fitz-not-returning-fired-mike-wolfe-feud-controversy/
21 July, 2021 - 12:53pm
Mike Wolfe says he'll miss Fritz and wishes him the best on his next venture. Read his full statement below:
"I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he's been like a brother to me. The journey that Frank, Dani (Danielle), 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. 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."
Previously: It's a wrap for Frank Fritz on American Pickers.
A source close to production tells EW that the History Channel show has no plans to bring Fritz back and he doesn't factor into the show's "big picture."
ZACHARY MAXWELL STERTZ/HISTORY Frank Fritz on "American Pickers."
After serving as the cohost for the show since it began in Jan. 2010, Fritz's last episode on the antiquing road show aired in March 2020. Citing back surgery and his ongoing complications from Crohn's disease, which then presented further immunity challenges when the COVID pandemic hit, Fritz didn't return to the show when it ramped up production again after the pandemic several months ago.
Fritz acknowledged as much in a recent interview with U.K.'s The Sun.
"I didn't leave the show," he told the tabloid. "I finished shooting and then I had a little back surgery and the pandemic came."
The source tells us that production had to go on with Mike Wolfe returning to helm the show. They also told us that Fritz hasn't been completely left in the dark regarding his role on American Pickers as conversations with the former cohost have been ongoing.
Fans had been wondering where Fritz has been this season and the chatter got louder as a result of the recent Sun interview. In it, Fritz disclosed that he hasn't spoken to Wolfe for some time.
"I haven't talked to Mike in two years," Fritz said. "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."
He further suggested Wolfe's ego could be part of the reason why he's no longer on the show.
"The show is tilted towards him 1,000 percent," Fritz said of Wolfe. "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 front man. 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."
ZACHARY MAXWELL STERTZ/HISTORY From left, Frank Fritz, Danielle Colby, and Mike Wolfe of "American Pickers."
Additionally, Fritz asserted that Wolfe was working to get his brother, Robbie Wolfe, promoted from a B-player to his new cohost. But our production source says there are no plans to replace Fritz and they're happy with the current cast of supporting members, including Robbie and Danielle Colby.
In The Sun interview, Fritz said his return was "up to the network." And it appears as if he got his answer.
EW reached out to History Channel and the show's production company for comment.
American Pickers is currently in production on its 11th year and airing new episodes Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on History Channel.
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20 July, 2021 - 05:49pm
But beyond the crazy treasure trove of items, fans also tuned in for Fritz and Wolfe's chemistry. Based on the way the show presented them, the pair appeared to be good friends. They worked closely together, relying on each other's opinions, and occasionally laughing at the exploits of their shop manager, Danielle Colby. But the dynamic behind the cameras was a lot different from what played out on our screens. According to a July 2021 report from Entertainment Weekly, Fritz hasn't spoken to his co-star since March 2020, right around the time he last appeared on the show. Here's what Fritz had to say about his frenemy.
But his hurt feelings stem from more than just Wolfe's failure to pick up the phone. With TV pairings, it's almost inevitable that one person has more star quality, and the power dynamic between Fritz and Wolfe is likewise skewed. "The show is tilted towards him [Wolfe] 1,000 percent. I can't even bend that far down to show you how much," Fritz shared. "It's like you've got Aerosmith and there's Steven Tyler and he's the front man. I found my spot, I'm second and he's number one on the show." Even still, Fritz believes his more relatable qualities resonate with viewers. "I'm not arrogant and I'm more of a regular ol' guy. The guy that connects with me is the guy who buys a 30-pack of Busch Light and a pizza on the weekend," Fritz added. He went on to say that he believes Wolfe is ousting him by bringing his brother on the show, but before fans judge, Wolfe might be going through a hard time of his own, too.