American Pickers has confirmed the departure of co-presenter Frank Fritz this week, Entertainment Weekly has reported.
The History Channel series features pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz as they travel across the US to pick valuable items they can resale or use for their own collection.
Since the premiere of the show in 2010, the show has released 22 seasons in total.
The latest season premiered in January which is when viewers noticed the absence of co-host Frank Fritz.
But this week History Channel has revealed that Frank won’t return to the show after speculations first surfaced in early 2021.
History Channel confirms Frank’s departure
As reported by Entertainment Weekly, a source close to the History Channel series has confirmed that Frank won’t be returning to American Pickers.
Frank’s co-star Mike Wolfe shared a statement on Instagram which says:
“I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he’s been like a brother to me. The journey that Frank, Dani (Danielle), and I started back in 2009, like all of life, has come with its highs and lows, blessings and challenges, but it has also been the most rewarding. I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey.
“I will miss Frank, just like all of you, and I pray for the very best and all good things for him on the next part of his journey.”
Why has Frank been absent from the show?
Frank couldn’t return to film the latest series of American Pickers due to a back surgery and complications with his Crohn’s disease.
When the pandemic hit in March 2020, the presenter had to stay in lockdown. He was believed to quarantine in Iowa, making it hard from him to return to set.
Frank has been vocal about his struggle with Crohn’s disease. “Crohn’s and travel is all about management,” Frank said in an interview with the National Enquirer. “My entire crew knows about my Crohn’s. They understand it when I need a break. I mean… if I have to go, I have to go!”
In a recent interview with The Sun, Frank explained that the surgery and the pandemic were the reasons he had to step down from his presenting duties from the latest series.
“I didn’t leave the show,” he told the publication. “I finished shooting and then I had a little back surgery and the pandemic came.”
Meanwhile, the source close to American Pickers told Entertainment Weekly that production had to continue without Frank’s involvement, however, they had discussions with the presenter about his role on the show.
Fans share support to Frank
Many fans are sad about Frank’s departure after being part of the show for such a long time.
“Frank and Mike complimented each other like peanut butter and jelly,” one viewer wrote. “The show will never be the same. Just my opinion. Best of luck to both.”
Another one said: “The fans really want to at least know a reason for his departure. He was a large part of our enjoyment of the show and it’s totally different without him.”
“I watched because of the friendship and fun between Mike and Frank,” added someone else. “Very disappointed that it’s over. I’ve stopped watching.”