What Happened to Frank Fritz on ‘American Pickers’?
TV personality Frank Fritz started hosting The History Channel's famous show American Pickers since its debut on January 18, 2010. He traveled around America looking for other's unrecognized treasure with his longtime co-host Mike Wolfe.
The duo would meet collectors and pick up anything vintage or antique that has resale value.
Following the show's basic premise, they appeared together in Season 21, and Fritz showed up until its seventh episode, titled 'Burlesque Queen,' which aired on March 2, 2020.
But after that, he was nowhere to be seen. Neither Fritz nor Wolfe nor their assistant, Danielle Colby, addressed the reason behind Fritz's unexpected absence.
Soon the pandemic took its toll on the entertainment industry, and the 22nd season of the reality series couldn't air until January 2021. Sadly, even after the much-awaited comeback, Fritz didn't return for the show, prompting fans to wonder,
What Happened to Frank Fritz on American Pickers?
Fritz finally broke his silence on his extended absence on American Pickers through an interview with The Sun in July 2021.
As per his accounts, the famed picker didn't leave the show but stopped partaking in the new episodes after minor back surgery and the pandemic.
He utilized the sabbatical, embracing healthy habits of exercise and healthy foods. He had also lost over 65 pounds after quitting drinking. The television host had issues with alcohol addiction and had seen his mother and grandfather succumb to it.
He checked into a treatment facility named Abbey Center in Bettendorf, Iowa, to get rid of the addiction and spent over two months. Finally, he got out of rehab after finding his sobriety.
After gushing about his new health choices, Fritz hinted at his estrangement with the channel. "It's up to the network whether I come back on the show," he stated.
And that wasn't all. The television personality also threw shade at his co-host, implying Wolfe had something to do with his sudden exit. He disclosed he hadn't talked to Wolfe in two years.
Detailing their estranged relationship, Fritz mentioned Wolfe didn't care to call him or know about his whereabouts before and after his surgery.
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.
The 55-year-old poured out his heart and stated that the show was tilted 1,000 percent towards Wolfe. However, he implied he had no problem with the show being such. "I found my spot, I'm second and he's number one on the show. That's no problem with me."
Will Frank Fritz Return to 'American Pickers'?
After Fritz's revealing interview, The History Channel discussed his exit from the show to Entertainment Weekly. As per the source, the network wasn't planning on bringing Fritz back, as he didn't fit in with the "big picture" of the show.
After the saddening announcement, Wolfe finally touched down on the matter, providing a statement through his Instagram.
"He's been like a brother to me," the 57-year-old wrote before sharing that he would miss Fritz just like any of the audience. He also prayed for the best for the next part of his journey.
Wolfe's heartwarming response, however, infuriated Fritz. "Mike's statement was [expletive], somebody wrote it out for him," he told The Sun in August 2021. The Iowa native added he couldn't believe Wolfe would say nice things to him.
Then, sharing that he still had plans to return, Fritz remarked how thousand of people wanted him back. He added he could either be back on the program or find a new show and have something new.
Though Fritz said he might return to American Pickers, Wolfe ruled out the possibility while talking to The Sun on August 16, 2021. The veteran host hinted Fritz wasn't doing great with controlling his alcohol issues.