Oz


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

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About

From Wikipedia:

Oz is an American television drama series created by Tom Fontana, who also wrote or co-wrote all of the series' 56 episodes. It was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced by the premium cable network HBO. Oz premiered on July 12, 1997 and ran for six seasons; the series finale aired February 23, 2003.

Oz is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility, formerly Oswald State Penitentiary, a maximum-security prison (level 4) at an undisclosed location in the United States of America. Many of the plot arcs are set in "Emerald City" ("Em City"), an experimental unit of the prison in which the unit manager attempts to emphasize rehabilitation and learning responsibility during incarceration. Emerald City is an extremely controlled environment where there are a controlled number of members of each racial and social group. 

The large ensemble cast includes Eamonn Walker, Rita Moreno, Ernie Hudson, John Lurie, Terry Kinney, Betty Buckley, Kathryn Erbe, Christopher Meloni, Lee Tergesen, B. D. Wong, J. K. Simmons, Dean Winters, Scott William Winters, Kirk Acevedo, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Harold Perrineau Jr., Erik King, David Zayas, Lauren Vélez, and Edie Falco.

Oz is primarily narrated by Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau Jr.), former drug dealer, convicted murderer and former crack addict. Now in a wheelchair, he appears in surreal segments and introductions that usually relate to an overall theme of the episode, as well as setting up scenes, introducing characters, or adding epilogues. When necessary — usually when a character is introduced — Hill appears as an omniscient narrator. Used as a literary tool of the writers, he narrates the details of characters' crimes, their prison number, and their sentences. Hill appears as a recurring character within the show's story lines until the sixth season, in which narration by various deceased characters was added.

Highlights
Tom Fontana on coming up with the title for Oz and the opening credits of the show, which feature him getting an Oz tattoo
Rita Moreno on co-starring in Oz and the freedom of working on a cable series
Chris Albrecht on programming Oz
Anne Meara on appearing on Oz
Who talked about this show

Chris Albrecht

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Chris Albrecht on programming Oz

Edie Falco

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Edie Falco on working on Oz and her character, "Diane Whittlesey"
Edie Falco on the two Oz characters Tom Fontana presented to her for her to play
Edie Falco on her interactions with the writers on Oz
Edie Falco on not doing research for her role on Oz, and how she generally does not do research for roles
Edie Falco on the relationship between her character, "Diane Whittlesey" and Terry Kinney's character, "Tim McManus" on Oz
Edie Falco on the production schedule on Oz
Edie Falco on working with the producers and cast on Oz
Edie Falco on leaving Oz
Edie Falco on her favorite moment on Oz
Edie Falco on the legacy of Oz

Tom Fontana

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Tom Fontana on coming up with the title for Oz and the opening credits of the show, which feature him getting an Oz tattoo
Tom Fontana on creating Oz for HBO
Tom Fontana on doing extensive research in prisons for Oz
Tom Fontana on the themes of Oz
Tom Fontana on feedback he received from prisoners and prison workers about Oz
Tom Fontana on Emerald City, the experimental prison unit in Oz
Tom Fontana on Harold Perrineau as "Augustus Hill," the narrator of Oz
Tom Fontana on the end of Oz
Tom Fontana on where Oz was filmed and the tone of the set
Tom Fontana on the cast of Oz
Tom Fontana on writing Oz with no network censorship 

Barry Levinson

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Barry Levinson on pitching Oz at HBO to executive Chris Albrecht and what made the show different from previous prison dramas
Barry Levinson on the opening sequence of Oz, which featured show creator Tom Fontana getting a real tattoo of the title on his arm
Barry Levinson on his involvement on Oz as executive producer
Barry Levinson on HBO's input on Oz and the show's audience
Barry Levinson on the end of Oz and the show's legacy

Anne Meara

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Anne Meara on appearing on Oz

Rita Moreno

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Rita Moreno on co-starring in Oz and the freedom of working on a cable series
Rita Moreno on the graphic nature of her then-current series, Oz

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