Frank Fritz Is On The Mend After Stroke, American Pickers Ratings Are Also Improving

It’s been a few weeks since American Pickers star Mike Wolfe confirmed his former road tripping buddy Frank Fritz had a stroke and had been hospitalized. While Fritz was seemingly not happy Wolfe had broken the news about his health event, it has been confirmed that Fritz is on the mend. He’s not the only one improving, either, as recent reports seem to indicate Pickers’ own ratings penance may be waning. 

In fact, American Pickers has recently been improving in the ratings in recent weeks, but particularly during the week of August 20th, when the show finally bumped over the 1 million total viewers mark. The episodes “Knucklehead Blue, Salty & Sweet Pickins Part 1” was set in North Carolina and featured Mike bargaining over a Mountain Dew statue. 

New episodes of American Pickers started on Saturday nights at the beginning of July and early on showed the same slack episodes had seemingly featured since it was confirmed that Frank Fritz had officially been let go from the show. Early in 2022, January episodes of American Pickers numbers had dropped from around 1.3 million an episode to under the 1 million viewer mark. That trajectory continued downward as the show returned to the air in July. 

In fact, earlier episodes this summer only drew over 800,000 total viewers. While some of those episodes were closer to 900,000 viewers, a July 29th ep only saw 821,000 viewers tune in. Thus, it seemed like the trajectory was continuing downward for the show's summer/fall 2022 TV season return. 

Now that Fritz is on the mend and Wolfe has been supportive of his former TV pal, it seems as if more people have decided to give the show a whirl again. The latest episode's 1,007,000 viewers, per The Sun, is hardly a number to scoff at given what we’d seen in previous months. 

Of course, it’s worth noting this is still the new iteration of American Pickers. Mike Wolfe brought in his brother Robbie after he and Frank Fritz broke the band up. (Although Fritz left voluntarily over health issues he was not asked back by the other Pickers star or those involved in the show in other capacities.) Wolfe is still taking some flack online for what happened with the reality series, but it seems like the show is finally seeing some forward momentum with its new cast. 

Meanwhile, Frank Fritz has said he’d like to return to TV again, but that’s unlikely to happen on the show that made him a household name. The good news is he is on the mend after his stroke, recently telling a friend he is "very determined" and "continues to get better every day." 

Of course, here's hoping for more good news soon -- on both recovery fronts. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.