One of the most popular and successful TV shows on the History Channel is American Pickers. The reality television series follows antique collectors Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, who have even attracted a loyal fan following.
Many critics of the series believe that American Pickers should be categorized under documentary rather than reality TV show. For this reason there has been quite a bit of debate and controversy, due to the nature of the show and whether or not it is scripted. Some people stand faithfully by the series, calling it real, some say it is somewhat staged, and others call the series a total fake. What you believe depends somewhat on personal perspective, but here are some facts. Take this information and do with it whatever you want, but you will have a more honest angle of American Pickers TV Series.
Mike and Frank were not business partners prior to the series, but this does make sense since the business only began after the show started. The two had a friendship which had endured a long time, but they didn’t have a professional relationship. Even so, both did have an interest in antiques and “picking” from a relatively early age. Mike was interested in the subject on a professional level whereas Frank had more of a hobby for picking.
The idea of the show came from Mike, and he was the one who introduced the idea to the production company. Frank was a clear choice for being in the series along with Mike since the two shared the same interests and had a history of friendship.
In some ways it is impractical to expect a TV show to be 100% real and unscripted. There are many various reasons that conversations may have to be scripted beforehand or re-filmed. Certain interactions may not be appropriate for the audience or in some cases it may not even be audible, so it is necessary to make edits or film the same conversation again. Touch-ups are sometimes required in order to make things clear and understandable—this is all a part of any television series. Some sources say, however, that there is no “WWE style” scripting or staging. The series uses only as much editing as is necessary for the show to be clear, smooth, and aired on television.
Of course much of the dialog between Mike and Frank is also removed and not aired on television. This seems understandable, though—considering that a lot of their conversation, after spending so much time together, likely has nothing to do with antiques and collectibles. Sometimes it is also necessary for them to repeat certain bits of dialog if it was not clearly articulated. These are a few common ways that the show is edited, like many other reality television programs.
There have also been suggestions that Mike and Frank don’t even travel together in the same vehicle and all of the things they purchase are already arranged well beforehand. Some faithful viewers of American Pickers refuse to believe these statements.