|Also known as||The Pickers
(outside the US, Canada, UK, and Australia) and Antiqot al Haderekh
(Hebrew: ענתיקות על הדרך, Antiques on the Way, in Israel)
|Created by||Mike Wolfe|
|Developed by||Mark Poertner
|Directed by||Anthony Mastanduno|
|Theme music composer||Jingle Punks Music|
|Composer(s)||The Dark Studio|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||17|
|No. of episodes||235 (list of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Charles Tremayne
|Location(s)||Rural America (especially the Rust Belt, Midwest, and South)|
|Camera setup||Multiple (Casey Marucci, Jennifer Tsai)|
|Running time||145–148 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Cineflix (AP2/AP3/AP4/AP5) Inc.
A&E Television Networks, LLC
|Original release||January 18, 2010– present|
The show follows antique and collectible pickers Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz who travel around the United States to buy or "pick" various items for resale, for clients, or for their own personal collections. They originally traveled in a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van and now a Ford Transit. Danielle Colby runs the office of Wolfe's business, Antique Archaeology, from their home base in Le Claire, Iowa, and more recently at a second location in Nashville, Tennessee. Fritz sells his acquisitions at his own shop and on his own website, Frank Fritz Finds, upriver in Savanna, Illinois. The men go on the road, not only following up leads that Colby has generated, but also "free-styling" - stopping at places that look like they might hold items worth buying. They also pick some places more than once.
The series introduction is narrated by Wolfe and Fritz. The first three seasons used the complete opening. Beginning with season 4, a shortened version is used, with the portion in italics below removed:
I'm Mike Wolfe. And I'm Frank Fritz. And we're pickers. We travel the back roads of America looking to buy rusty gold.
We're looking for amazing things buried in people's garages and barns. What most people see as junk, we see as dollar signs. We'll buy "anything" we think we can make a buck on. Each item we pick has a history all its own. And the people we meet? Well, they're a breed all their own.
We make a living telling the history of America...one piece at a time.
Mike and Frank explore people's homes, barns, sheds, outbuildings, and other places where they have stored antiques and collectibles. They call upon casual collectors, hoarders, and occasionally people who have inherited overwhelming collections of apparent junk. Wolfe, who has been picking since age four, has a particular interest in antique motorcycles, air-cooled Volkswagens, old bicycles, and penny-farthings, while Fritz has a fondness for antique toys, oil cans, and old Hondas. They have purchased old advertisements and commercial signage, film posters, a rare 15-gallon visible gasoline pump, and a Piaggio Ape (pronounced: ah-peh) that one of their friends told them is probably the only one of its kind in North America.
In December 2011, American Pickers revealed that Antique Archaeology had leased part of a former 1914 car factory in Nashville, Tennessee, which originally made the Marathon automobile, for a second business location to decrease the distance required to haul their finds from the southern states.
The series debuted on January 18, 2010. The premiere episode of American Pickers had 3.1 million viewers, making it the highest rated History channel debut since Ice Road Truckers in 2007. The September 8, 2010, episode "Laurel & Hardy" garnered Nielsen ratings as high as 5.3 million viewers in the 25–54 age group. As of that episode, the show retained the title of #1 new non-fiction series of 2010 among all viewers and adults 25–54.
- Canadian Pickers / Cash Cowboys (2011–13), a similar TV series featuring two pickers in Canada; produced by Cineflix for the History channel in Canada.
- Aussie Pickers, a similar TV series featuring two pickers in Australia on the A&E Australia channel, beginning in 2013.
- Picker Sisters, a 2011 TV series about two female pickers/designers.
- Picked Off, History's 2012 reality competition series, also produced by Cineflix.
- Steven Kurutz (August 24, 2011). "At Home with Mike Wolfe: The Jack Kerouac of Junk". The New York Times.
- Rob Owen (September 2, 2012). "'Pickers' don't compete on sales". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
- "'Mike Wolfe & Frank Fritz'".
- "Mike's Breakdown" (season 2, episode 12)
- "American Pickers": The Inside Story of the History Channel’s Surprise Hit River Cities' Reader Quote: "The episode "Super Scooter" shows how the pair works together. Wolfe is nearly drooling over a Vespa Ape scooter."
- "Big Bear" (season 1, episode 1)
- Antique Archaeology web page about Nashville location Archived 2011-12-25 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2012-01-03
- "'Series Debut of American Pickers Scores 3.1 million'".
- "'HISTORY Posts Blockbuster Ratings on Monday Night with Premiere Episodes of Hit Series ‘American Pickers & ‘Pawn Stars‘'".