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Author David Giffels to share his family’s Akron story in TV series ‘Wreckless’

David Giffels
Akron author David Giffels co-authored two books on Akron history -- one about Devo, one about the tire industry -- before his 2009 memoir, "All the Way Home." He's now turning the book into a half-hour series, working with the creative minds behind ABC's "The Goldbergs" and the film "Ordinary World."

He’s written about Devo, the tire industry and the Rust Belt. Now author David Giffels is turning his 2009 memoir “All the Way Home” into a half-hour series.

The book and series, titled “Wreckless,” follow the true story of how Giffels and his wife started their family in a condemned mansion in his native Akron. Working with the creative minds behind the television series “The Goldbergs” and the 2016 film “Ordinary World,” Giffels said they discovered his book through a connection with his publisher. Last year, he began having brainstorming sessions via Zoom with producers Tim Perrell and Lee Kirk.

“They came here last summer for a few days,” he said. “And they just fell in love with it. Akron is going to be very much a character in the show. [We watched] some trial runs at Derby Downs. They were just mesmerized and said, ‘We don’t have anything like this in Brooklyn.’”

The trio mapped out the show’s first season and are now shopping around its pilot script. Giffels said he plans to be a hands-on producer, and he is pushing to shoot a great deal of the series in Akron.

“This is a part of the country whose story doesn’t get told often enough with the true authenticity of understanding from the inside,” he said. “There are shows that are set in the Midwest – but it’s often a version of the Midwest that’s imagined by people sitting in a board room in New York.”

Giffels’ work has appeared in several publications including The New York Times Magazine and the Akron Beacon Journal. He explored Ohio’s political divisions in his 2020 book “Barnstorming Ohio: To Understand America.” He also wrote two other memoirs and co-authored histories of Akron’s rubber industry (“Wheels of Fortune”) and the rock band Devo (“We are DEVO!”). Giffels has some television history too. In the 1990s, he wrote several episodes of MTV’s groundbreaking animated series “Beavis and Butthead.”

Kabir Bhatia joined WKSU as a Reporter/Producer and weekend host in 2010. While a Kent State student, Bhatia served as a WKSU student assistant, working in the newsroom and for production.