AMERICAN Pickers season 23 premiere ratings have dropped with Mike Wolfe and his brother Robbie as hosts after Frank Fritz was fired.
Season 23 of American Pickers premiered on Saturday, January 1 with Mike, 57, and new host Robbie.
The Sun can exclusively reveal that even though ratings were still above 1 million viewers, the numbers dropped compared to previous seasons.
The Season 23 premiere brought in 1,050,000 viewers.
The number of viewers are less compared to the Season 22 premiere on January 25, 2021, which had 1,273,000 people tune in.
Mid Season 22 ratings were also higher, as the July 5 episode had 1,336,000 viewers and the July 19, 2021 episode had 1,322,000 fans watch.
The Season 23 premiere was higher though than the Season 22 finale, as the September 6, 2021 episode brought in 1,028,000.
Episodes featuring fan-favorite Frank also had higher ratings, as the March 2, 2020 episode, which was his final show, had 1,282,000 viewers tune in.
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The new numbers come after the History Channel replaced Frank with Mike’s brother Robbie in cast photos and on the website.
Frank, 57, last appeared on American Pickers during a March 2020 episode, as he took time off to recover from back surgery.
The original cast member’s firing was announced in July despite him expressing his desire to return to the History show.
Frank left the show to recover from grueling back surgery that left him with 185 stitches and two rods in his spine.
During his time off the show, Frank lost 65 pounds, as he is living a healthier lifestyle and is sober from alcohol.
Frank also told The Sun that he checked into rehab for alcohol abuse in Iowa for 77 days.
Frank said 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.”
Frank continued that he goes to meetings "twice a week” after the stint.
Frank said he would’ve been sober for a year if it weren't for a relapse.
He added: "It was maybe for four hours, but it was enough. The next day I went to a meeting and I got right back on track.
“I don’t think I’ll ever have a drink again because I don't like the feeling anymore and some of the dumb things that I did.”
Frank continued: “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.”
Frank also revealed his feud with costar Mike Wolfe.
Frank previously told The Sun of their falling out: “I haven’t talked to Mike in two years. He knew my back was messed up, but he didn’t call me up and ask how I was doing. That’s just how it is.
"The show is tilted towards him 1,000 percent. I can’t even bend that far down to show you how much.
"That’s fine. It’s like you’ve got Aerosmith and there’s Steven Tyler and he’s the frontman. I found my spot, I’m second and he’s number one on the show. That’s no problem with me, maybe he does have a problem.”
He even admitted: “I think Mike wants to get his brother Robbie in there to replace me. I don’t know why he’s behaving like that towards me."
Frank currently owns his Illinois store, Frank Fritz Finds and resides in his native Iowa.
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