The History Channel visits Columbiana

Published 4:05 pm Thursday, December 17, 2009

Frequent viewers of The History Channel may notice a familiar scene beginning in January.

History Channel crews and local filmmakers descended on Columbiana Dec. 17 to film several commercials and teasers for the upcoming show “American Pickers.”

The crews filmed for more than six hours at Dr. Bob Rosser’s farm off Shelby County 97, as the show’s two stars, Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz, recorded promotional shots for their upcoming show.

“The Alabama scenery is great. It’s totally rustic and Americana,” said Matt Neary, the show’s director and producer. “This location is amazing, because we have all we need for the shoot right here.”

The show’s organizers chose the location because it provided a snapshot of rural America, and fit the show’s theme.

“American Pickers” will feature Wolfe and Fritz as they travel across the country and search for “hidden treasures,” Neary said.

“They travel across the country and search through people’s houses, garages and things like that to try to find what we call rusty gold,” Neary said. “Then they buy the things from the owners and sell them to antique dealers.”

The show decided to use the farm for filming after Alabaster-based location scout Alan Thacker recommended the location to History Channel representatives.

“I had just scouted this location one day last week, and they called me up this Monday (Dec. 14) said they needed a location that fit this place very well,” Thacker said. “They wanted something between Birmingham and Montgomery that showed off the state’s rural scenery.

“The barn and the horses make a great backdrop for what they are filming today,” Thacker added. “Several people here have commented on what a great location it is.”

“American Pickers” is scheduled to air its first episode Jan. 18, and the commercials filmed in Columbiana are expected to begin running after Jan. 1.