American Pickers has been in the news quite a bit lately thanks to a cast shakeup. A little over a week ago, longtime co-host Frank Fritz revealed that he wanted to come back after a leave of absence on the series, but that he wasn’t sure if things were going to work out. His longtime partner Mike Wolfe then came out and confirmed that Fritz was not being asked back to the series, effectively firing him from his History role. Now, the former American Pickers star is talking rehab and revealing the circumstances that led to his exit.
In a new interview, Frank Fritz spoke out about going to rehab for alcohol issues and how that has helped him to gain perspective on his life and where he is going over the last year.
I went to rehab and I’ve been sober now for 11 months.I didn’t like drinking anymore. My mom was an alcoholic and she died five years ago and it was alcohol-related. My grandfather was an alcoholic and he died. That didn’t sit well with me. They gave me a lot of information and we were booked up for 13 or 14 hours a day. There was no sitting around watching TV or eating food. You were scheduled out for an hour, then an hour and half, all through the day. They really give you a lot of one-on-one time. I read 12 self-help books while I was there. I didn’t fuck around. I really got into it. I went there to learn and get the most out of it that I possibly could
Speaking with The Sun, Frank Fritz also mentioned that he did have one brief relapse back into drinking 11 months ago and if it weren’t for that, he would have been sober for over a year at this point. In general he also says that a bad break-up and cheating allegations had led him to drink more than he had prior, but that moving forward he feels he'll stay on the sober train.
Still, while overall Frank Fritz is feeling better about himself, during his elongated absence from American Pickers the show had the chance to reevaluate and rework its formatting with the focus on star Mike Wolfe. While reports indicate Fritz took the leave of absence of his own accord, Wolfe confirmed last week that he won’t be asked back to the longtime History series. It seems he’s more of a lone “Wolfe” after all.
Per Frank Fritz, there are some feelings that come with this forced career change. He does have regrets, also telling the outlet:
I’m feeling really good. Life is good and I’d like to get back into the swing of things. I wish I had done it five years ago, I would have been a different person. It was the best thing for me and I wish I had done it sooner or I wouldn’t be in the position that I am right now. I’d still like to get back to my job, I miss my friends and my people and being on the road and meeting all those different characters.
The last time Fritz was seen on American Pickers was in a March 2020 episode that must have filmed well before its airdate, as Frank Fritz was previously quoted as saying Mike Wolfe hasn’t spoken to him in two years and did not reach out at all during his move to get sober and deal with health issues (including back surgery) during his time off.
Meanwhile, American Pickers hasn’t aired an episode since March of this year. Season 22 wrapped a few months ago, and History hasn’t added the show to the fall TV premiere schedule (or cancellation list) yet. The show kicks off sporadically, but often there is more than one cycle of episodes a year, so we’ll keep you updated when it’s moving forward again, as well as keep you posted about whatever Frank Fritz lines up next.