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The Real Reason Frank Isn't Returning To American Pickers

For fans of History's long-running reality antique collector series "American Pickers," the end of an era has officially arrived. Series co-star Frank Fritz, who spent 21 seasons traveling the country with his friend and colleague Mike Wolfe looking for one-of-a-kind finds, will not be returning to the show. Entertainment Weekly reported both the initial rumors and History's official confirmation of Fritz's exit, which was made on July 21.

The news of Fritz's departure is no doubt devastating for fans of the series. Those who've tuned in since the beginning have seen Fritz and Wolfe excavate vintage cars from piles of rubble and pull rare finds out of garages and junk rooms all across the United States. However, when Season 22 premiered back in January, Fritz was nowhere to be seen and it now looks like his absence will be permanent. To make matters even sadder for fans, tensions between the two old friends seem to be at least partially to blame.

During a July 19 interview with The Sun, Fritz revealed, "I haven't talked to Mike in two years." Here is what else the reality TV star had to say and more information about the injury that initially kept him from filming Season 22.

Why Frank and Mike allegedly haven't spoken in two years

Speaking with The Sun before official news of his exit from the show dropped, Fritz noted that his initial absence from the series was actually health-related. "I didn't leave the show," he clarified. "I finished shooting and then I had a little back surgery and the pandemic came."

However, it appears that behind-the-scenes conflicts with Wolfe may be what's preventing him from making a return. While speaking about the radio silence with his former co-star, Fritz said, "[Mike] 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." Fritz also insinuated that Wolfe hoped to elevate his brother Robbie to co-hosting duties, which was denied by a source who spoke to Entertainment Weekly.

In addition to his claim about Wolfe's lack of response to his back issues, Fritz also gave some insight into the pair's dynamic. He told The Sun, "It's like you've got Aerosmith and there's Steven Tyler and he's the front man ... I'm second and he's number one on the show. That's no problem with me, maybe he does have a problem."

Amidst the claims of bad blood, Fritz did also highlight the positive side of his relationship with Wolfe. "We can finish each other's sentences ..." he said. "When everybody is getting along and there's no drama, me and him are very good together."

Sadly, it sounds like this is not one of those times when there's no drama. That being said, when the official news of Fritz's departure broke, Wolfe issued a heartfelt statement to Entertainment Weekly: "I have known Frank for as long as I can remember, he's been like a brother to me ... 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."