Just about any instance involving a TV star exiting a beloved show is going to be a complicated situation, even if all parties are completely open and agreeable about all the details involved. But when things aren't nearly so smooth and planned out, that's when rifts start to form, which is vaguely how things have played out so far in the aftermath of Frank Fritz having to bow out of his co-hosting role on History's American Pickers. In July 2022, around a year after that untimely exit, Mike Wolfe went public with the news that Fritz suffered a stroke, and it sounds like that move may have reopened some figurative wounds for Fritz.
The timeline of Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe's troubles is long and convoluted, but it started when the former reality star took a leave of absence from the treasure-seeking series back in 2020 for a variety of reasons, from dealing with a surgery and other medical issues to going into rehab to quit drinking and lose weight. Before he could make any kind of return, however, reports spread saying Fritz was off the show, which Wolfe then publicly confirmed in a move that went against his former co-star’s wishes. Things only got stickier from there, with the star speaking candidly about Fritz’s behind-the-scenes struggles at the time, which one might have thought would deter him from sharing too much about the stroke situation.
Now, Frank Fritz is still in recovery mode, with his sights on the future. But according to a longtime friend who chose to remain unidentified for privacy reasons — American Pickers fans can sometimes go heavy on the backlashes — the sobered-up TV personality did not expect to have his medical situation once again shared without his consent. Here’s how she put it, according to QCTimes:
By all means, that statement could have been entirely focused on updating everyone with his current condition, while mentioning Frank Fritz’s request for fans to adopt pets from, or donate money to, the local Humane Society of Scott County. But it does seem like a pointed choice for a critical opinion like that to have entered the mix, given Fritz’s ongoing-but-indirect feud with Mike Wolfe.
Even if every single message Fritz received from fans was kind and good-natured, it still might not be his ideal way to experience his recovery. And while he might have very well decided to share the news of his stroke with fans and followers himself at some point, he didn’t even get to make that decision for himself.
Nonetheless, Fritz’s longtime friend sounds very assuring about how the recuperation process is going, saying:
That’s all we can hope for at this point, considering we never know what each new day will bring. To that end, it’s not wholly clear at this point when American Pickers will be back on History. Season 23 debuted back in January, with Robbie Wolfe appearing alongside his brother Mike in the ten-episode stretch, but given how much flak the latter Wolfe has faced for all things Frank Fritz, the network may decide to hold off on airing more new episodes.
In the meantime, though, be sure to head to our 2022 TV premiere schedule to see all the new and returning shows that are on the way!
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Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper. Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.