As you may already know, American Pickers is a reality television series which follows Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, long-time buddies who travel the country in search of hidden gems that have been buried away in rubble and junk heaps. Their associate Danielle waits at their home base Antique Archaeology and operates as the office manager. The series is in some ways similar to other popular programs like Storage Wars and Pawn Stars.

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American Pickers appears, like many other reality TV shows, to be unscripted, impromptu, and essentially what you see is what you get. This isn’t, however, the full story. In fact, a lot of the details involved in this TV show are planned out ahead of time and don’t take place the way they appear on television.

For one thing it has been stated that Mike and Frank don’t even drive together in the same vehicle while they are out traveling and hunting for antiques. They take their own cars and travel alongside trucks which haul cameras, clothes, makeup, and other equipment. Many conversations (especially those within their car) are filmed beforehand.

According to some the actual leg work is performed by those who work for the production company, not by Frank and Mike. Those working for the company are the ones who do the research and find potential sellers. After this is done the production company auditions potential sellers and chooses different items. Those who appear on the show are given a check for their appearance as well as whatever items were bought. Once all of this is taken care of and a price is agreed upon Frank and Mike travel to the location to film. At this point everything has already been arranged, so there is no haggling or discovering antiques, as some sources state. Other fans of the show dispute this, however, claiming that the things Frank and Mike find appear to be covered in cobwebs and dust.

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As you can see the series isn’t entirely genuine or straightforward. Most people would consider the series to be primarily based on scripted information and experiences. Certain elements of American Pickers are legitimate. Mike and Frank are longtime friends and Antique Archaeology is a real store where the two sell their antiques. The story of American Pickers makes for good marketing in order to make more money on the items sold at Antique Archaeology.

Some might consider this greedy but it is indeed how the television industry tends to work. The job that Mike and Frank do certainly isn’t a very feasible or realistic endeavor for others, as it is entirely backed by the production company. You may find this a deal breaker for the series, considering its deception level—like many other reality television shows currently on air. The company behind American Pickers has not made any counterclaims to argue these facts. America still seems to love the show and most people aren’t too concerned over this issue, however.

American Pickers is one of the most popular TV shows on the History Channel. Over the many years it has been on air it has become a well-loved pastime and even gained a fan following. Some people fight to believe that the series is, indeed, a legitimate reality television series, while others simply enjoy it for its entertainment value.