Mike Wolfe has allegedly not spoken to his former co-host, Frank Fritz, for over two years! However, Fritz recently suffered a stroke, and Mike posted on social media that he was praying for his former co-star, but fans rallied against him in another, calling him out.
In July 2021, The Sun reported how former "American Pickers" co-host, Frank Fritz, hadn't appeared on the series since a March 2020 episode. Speaking to the publication, Fritz revealed that he and his former co-host, Mike Wolfe, weren't on good terms.
He said they hadn't spoken to each other in two years. The television personality shared how Mike knew when he'd hurt his back but failed to call to check how he was doing.
Frank Fritz and Mike Wolfe from "American Pickers" at the grand opening of the History Pop Shop on December 6, 2010, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
However, Fritz didn't explain what had made them fall out, only sharing that they had tension because of their shared "America Pickers" fame. The former co-host noted how the show leaned completely in Mike's favor.
Fritz saw himself as more of the supporting act, while his former friend led as the front man. However, he also explained how he didn't have a problem with the role he was assigned but that Mike probably had an issue with it.
He described himself as a "common man" who hadn't scored big by discovering Michelangelo's items or a $100,000 vase. Fritz only scored small things that helped feed him.
The television personality noted how "hard" it would be to star in the History Channel series after having not spoken to Mike for years. In a previous interview, he told The Sun:
"I would like to come back to the show, but we will see. I was doing it for 11 years, but there is a lot of controversy going on right now.”
However, he explained that only the network could decide whether he could return or not, but whatever their decision, it wouldn't affect him. Fritz said he hadn't left the show, shot scenes, went for his back surgery, and then the COVID-19 pandemic came.
The star thought his former co-star wanted to replace him with his brother, Robbie Wolfe but didn't know why his former friend was treating him that way. Fritz believed his chemistry with Mike couldn't be replicated by force.
He shared how they'd known each other for around 40 years and could finish the other's sentences. The former co-host believed that when everyone was getting along with no drama, he and Mike were "good together."
MIKE REPLACED FRANK WITH HIS BROTHER, BUT FANS DIDN'T APPROVE
Fritz's assumptions were confirmed when Mike replaced him on "American Pickers" with Robbie at the beginning of season 23. Robbie started making lots of money and spent $660,000 on real estate.
In October 2020, he spent $80,000 to purchase over six acres of land; the following year, in January, he got an additional property for $45,000. Mike's brother then spent $200,000 in March 2021 to buy an 8,576 square-foot commercial property in Davenport, Iowa, his hometown.
Buying property was something Robbie was emulating from his brother, who owned real estate that was approximately $3,467,300. In January 2022, Mike owned 11 commercial properties and four mansions.
Before becoming a full-time co-host, Robbie had appeared 98 times on "American Pickers" since 2010. He officially replaced Fritz on the show's website before season 23 began by featuring in cast photos.
The series took a break in March 2022 and only returned with Mike, Robbie, and Danielle Colby on July 9, 2022. Sadly, the show's premiere ratings dropped compared to other seasons, with viewers asking for it to be canceled after Fritz was let go.
The Sun revealed how 1,050,000 viewers watched January 1, 2022's premiere episode while 1,011,000 people saw January 8's. On July 9, only 833,000 fans tuned in, and more people kept losing interest.
For the March 12 episode, only 830,000 people watched, and on March 19, 804,000 viewers tuned in. Little did Fritz fans know that their favorite co-host was suffering other health issues in the background.
FRANK'S HEALTH PROBLEM
In July 2022, The Sun reported how Fritz, then 56, was discovered unable to speak and "sprawled out on the floor" at his Iowa home by a friend who called 911 after the star had a stroke. The incident happened on July 14, 2022, before 11 a.m.
Call records showed how a 911 dispatcher asked Fritz's friend to explain what happened. The friend said he'd gone to check up on the former show host only to find him on the floor and initially thought the star had a seizure.
Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz at the grand opening of the History Pop Shop on December 6, 2010, in New York City. | Source: Getty Images
Despite not having spoken to Fritz for over two years, on July 22, 2022, Mike shared an Instagram photo of his former co-star and wrote about his stroke. He noted how he'd been private about Fritz's life journey over the years.
Robbie's brother said there'd been many opinions about their friendship, but it wasn't the right time to set the record straight. Mike revealed that his "friend" needed prayers after suffering a stroke and being taken to the hospital, adding:
"Frank I pray more than anything that you make it through this okay. I love you buddy."
Sharing two throwback photos with him and Fritz, Robbie also revealed to his fans that the former co-host was in the hospital recovering and improving daily from a stroke. He asked his followers to keep the television personality in their thoughts and prayers.
HOW MIKE AND ROBBIE UPSET AND OFFENDED FRITZ'S FANS
After Fritz's stroke news, Robbie, then 60, shared an Instagram image of himself surrounded by Elvis Presley impersonators at the Bix 7 Road Race in Davenport, Iowa. The reality show star seemed to be enjoying the event, held in commemoration of jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke.
In his post's caption, Robbie said he'd enjoyed the "good times" at the race. "American Pickers'" fans found the display disappointing and asked the network to remove Mike's brother from the show.
Toward the end of July, Mike shared a Twitter image of himself boasting a beard while promoting a new episode of his series. Fans jumped to the comment sections, with one asking him to cut the beard because:
"Frankie is the bearded charmer!! This makes it look like you're kicking a man while he's down, and that's Frank. Lose the beard!!"
Someone else wanted to know if Robbie would be in the episode because if that were the case, they wouldn't be watching. The fan felt Mike's brother had no place in front of the camera and should be picking up cars instead.
He [Mike Wolfe] said the most important thing was allowing his former co-host [Frank Fritz] time and space to heal.
The person also noted that ratings were dropping because of Robbie. A third fan begged Mike to fire his brother because he was sucking the life out of the show and making it "boring," while someone else wrote:
"No one is really interested in your show anymore. You turned to nepotism and turned you're (sic) back on a childhood friend then tried to show sympathy when he fell ill. Shame on you."
Some else shared that if Fritz weren't in the new episode, then it wouldn't be "worth watching" because Robbie was a "disaster," and his brother didn't want to "admit it." On a post where "American Pickers" advertised the upcoming episode, a fan wrote, "no franck (sic), no show."
Through a representative, Mike, then 58, even told People magazine that they asked people to keep Fritz in their prayers and thoughts despite him and his brother not treating the ill man well. He said the most important thing was allowing his former co-host time and space to heal.
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