Frank Fritz Left 'American Pickers' in 2021 Due to Health Issues

Frank left the show due to several contributing factors in rather quick succession, including his health.

Callie (Carlos) Cadorniga - Author

Jun. 6 2024, Published 11:11 a.m. ET

It's safe to say that American Pickers has seen better days. The History Channel series first premiered back in 2010 and initially followed co-hosts Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, two antique pickers who traveled the U.S. for valuable collectibles to either sell or offer to various clients. Once upon a time, the series enjoyed some of the highest ratings that the History Channel had ever seen. The show garnered millions of viewers in its first season, but more than a decade later, things have changed.

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Although the series still posts some substantial viewership as of 2024, the numbers aren't nearly as strong or as consistent as they once were. The US Sun reported that although the March 6, 2024, episode hit nearly 1 million viewers, this came amid a season when the show has struggled to maintain viewership. Fan interest in American Pickers has been dwindling, and many have pointed to Frank's departure as the primary cause. But why did Frank Fritz leave American Pickers in the first place?

Frank Fritz attends the A+E Networks 2012 Upfront at Lincoln Center on May 9, 2012
Source: Getty Images
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Frank Fritz probably won't be back to co-host 'American Pickers' any time soon.

Frank was with the show from the very beginning as he and Mike took their antiquing across the country. The chemistry he had with Mike combined with his expertise in picking made for some excellent banter. To that end, the two of them had been on American Pickers for over 21 seasons between 2010 and 2020. However, Frank left the show due to several contributing factors in rather quick succession, including his health.

As we've previously reported, Frank took a break from the show in March 2020 to recover from back surgery. At the time, however, he also checked into rehab to address his alcohol abuse. Rumors began circulating that Frank and Mike were embroiled in a feud at the time.

However, his aforementioned issues became so severe that Frank was eventually fired from the show in July 2021, with Mike telling EW at the time that he wished Frank all the best. One year later, he suffered a stroke.

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Since then, Frank has been in an extended period of recovery. The US Sun revealed that after Frank's stroke, his friends had filed for a temporary guardian and conservatorship while he addressed his health. He has since focused primarily on his own antique store, Frank Fritz Finds, which reportedly hasn't closed many sales as of June 2024.

Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz standing in front of a white van
Source: The History Channel

As for American Pickers, the show looks vastly different. Frank was replaced by Mike's brother Robbie Wolfe as both he and fellow longtime co-host Danielle Colby try to fill in the void left by Frank's absence. Many feel as if the show isn't as strong without Frank and still advocate for his return.

Despite this, American Pickers is still set to continue in the future. In June 2024, it was revealed that they would continue filming new episodes starting in Ohio in August.

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