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Oz (television program)
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Oz (television program)

Oz was the first one-hour dramatic television series to be produced by HBO. The show, which aired for six seasons (1997-2003), is set in a maximum-security prison in an unspecified eastern state in America.

Oz is the nickname for the Oswald State Correctional Facility. Most of the stories concern Emerald City ("Em City"), an experimental unit of the prison, where unit manager tries to emphasize rehabilitation over pure punishment.

Oz avoids any easy answers as to the origin of violence and criminality. Even the worst offenders are shown to have moments of humanity, while the supposedly "normal" characters come to commit their own atrocities.

The ensemble cast included many famous actors including Rita Moreno, Ernie Hudson, whose character was killed off in the final season, as well as Christopher Meloni and B.D. Wong, both from .

Warning: Plot details follow.

Oz is narrated by Augustus Hill (played by Harold Perrineau), a disabled inmate who uses a wheelchair, in surrealistic segments that usually relate to an overall theme of the episode. Hill, a former drug dealer and ex-junkie, appeared as a recurring character in the show's storylines until the end of the 5th season, when he was killed (although he still narrated the show until the final episode). The narrations by Hill are thus a form of breaking the fourth wall, although he did not address the camera during scenes where he was interacting with the other characters in the story.

The major plotlines in Oz typically involved rivalries between the different prison gangs (Muslim, Italian, Latino, Gays etc.), which often resulted in murder and retaliation. There are some long-standing individual rivalries including the ongoing struggle between Vernon Schillinger (played by J.K. Simmons), Aryan Brotherhood leader, and Tobias Beecher (Lee Tergesen), a family man jailed for killing a child while driving drunk.

Oz took advantage of the freedoms of cable television to show material that would be too extreme for traditional broadcast networks: coarse language, drug use, violence, male frontal nudity, homosexuality, rape, and ethnic and religious conflict.

Table of contents
1 Characters
2 External links


Main Chracters


Augustus Hill played by Harold Perrineau
Miguel Alvarez played by Kirk Acevedo
Kareem Said played by Eamonn Walker
Ryan O'Reily played by Dean Winters
Tobias Beecher played by Lee Tergesen
Vernon Schillinger played by J.K. Simmons
Simon Adebisi played by Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje
Christopher Keller played by Christopher Meloni
Cyril O'Reilly played by Scott William Winters
Robert Rebadow played by George Morfogen
Agamemnon Busmalis played by Tom Mardirosian
James Robson played by R.E. Rodgers


Warden Leo Glynn played by Ernie Hudson
Tim McManus played by Terry Kinney
Sister Peter Marie played by Rita Moreno
Diane Wittlesey played by Edie Falco
Father Ray Mukada played by B.D. Wong
Dr. Gloria Nathan played by Lauren Velez
Claire Howell played by Kristin Rohde
Sean Murphy played by Robert Clohessy

External links