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A series chronicling the daily activities of an unusual prison facility and its criminal inhabitants.

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387 ( 43)

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6   5   4   3   2   1  
2003   2002   2001   2000   1999   1998   … See all »
Top Rated TV #57 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 14 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...  Warden Leo Glynn 56 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Vern Schillinger 56 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Tobias Beecher 56 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Ryan O'Reily 56 episodes, 1997-2003
George Morfogen ...  Bob Rebadow 56 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Tim McManus 55 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Sister Peter Marie Reimondo 55 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Augustus Hill 55 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Kareem Said 51 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Poet 49 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Dr. Gloria Nathan 48 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Zahir Arif 48 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Agamemnon Busmalis 47 episodes, 1998-2003
...  Miguel Alvarez 48 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Father Ray Mukada 46 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Chucky Pancamo 46 episodes, 1998-2003
Philip Scozzarella ...  Officer Joseph Mineo / ... 46 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Cyril O'Reily 45 episodes, 1998-2003
...  Chico Guerra 40 episodes, 1998-2003
...  Chris Keller 38 episodes, 1998-2003
...  Officer Sean Murphy 38 episodes, 1999-2003
...  James Robson 36 episodes, 1998-2003
Kristin Rohde ...  Officer Claire Howell 35 episodes, 1999-2003
Carl DiMaggio ...  Officer Len Lopresti / ... 34 episodes, 1999-2003
...  Jaz Hoyt 33 episodes, 1998-2003
...  Simon Adebisi 32 episodes, 1997-2000
Timothy L. Brown ...  Officer Jason Armstrong 32 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Governor James Devlin 27 episodes, 1997-2003
...  Tony Masters 27 episodes, 1999-2003
...  Enrique Morales 26 episodes, 2000-2003
...  Timmy Kirk 26 episodes, 1998-2003
...  Burr Redding 23 episodes, 2001-2003
...  Officer Diane Whittlesey 23 episodes, 1997-2000
...  Kenny Wangler / ... 23 episodes, 1997-2000
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Storyline

Oz chronicles life inside an experimental cell block in the Oswald Maximum Security Correctional Facility: Level Four called Emerald City. Under unit manager Tim McManus and Warden Leo Glynn, the inmates in Em City all struggle to fulfill their own needs. Some fight for power; either power over the drug trade or power over the other inmate factions. Others want money, either through slinging 'tits' (drugs), gambling or other scams. Others, Corrections officers and inmates alike, simply want to survive long enough to make parole or even to see tomorrow. The show gives a no-holds-barred account of prison life with all the plots, subplots and conflicts given context and explanation by the show's wheelchair-bound narrator, Augustus Hill. Written by Michael Hofer

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Life's not a word. It's a sentence. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

TV-MA | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

12 July 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kylmä rinki  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (53 episodes) | (season 4 finale) | (season 2 finale)

Sound Mix:

(1997-1998)| (1999-)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Four cast members would later appear on Dexter (2006): David Zayas, Lauren Velez, Scott William Winters, and Erik King. See more »

Goofs

Prisoners are often seen using knives and scissors as regular every day items (getting haircuts etc). Access to metal bladed instruments would not be allowed in any form without strict supervision. Every pair of scissors and every knife would accounted for at all times. See more »

Quotes

William Giles: [repeatedly] Peter... Peter Marie.
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Connections

Spoofed in Saturday Night Live: Just Shorts (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Do NOT pass go, do not travel down this "Yellow Brick Road"...
2 February 2000 | by See all my reviews

...if what you want is the usual depiction that passes for prison life in a dramatic format. No SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION here, folks, no benevolent GREEN MILE guards or saintly supernatural inmates. OZ tells it like it is, and baby, it ain't pretty.

Using at times a sense of hyper-realism, (in the narrations of the excellent Harold Perrineau, who serves as the show's conscience and Greek chorus), OZ shows us both the profane and profound aspects of prison life that we good, law-abiding citizens don't like to think about. We have the "authorities" to take care of that, don't we?

Exceptional art, no matter what the medium, has the ability to move us, make us think, make us feel both things we embrace and things we reject. The power this show has to polarize viewers into two different camps--love it or hate it--is proof enough that Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson, the forces behind HOMICIDE: LIFE ON THE STREETS, have fashioned something we haven't seen the likes of in a very long time.

I would strongly suggest that anyone who has not yet seen it give it a try, if you have HBO. Then I dare you to tear yourself away from it. It's rare television that makes you sit up, take notice, and actually care about even the minor characters in an ensemble such as this, no matter how heinous their crimes, or how street-and-battle-hardened their exteriors.

Augustus Hill, Simon Adebisi, Tobias Beecher, Vern Schillinger, Chris Keller, Jefferson Keane, Ryan O'Reilly, Kareem Said, Nino Schibetta, Bob Rebadow, Tim McManus, Warden Leo Glynn, Sister Peter-Marie, Father Ray, Officer Diane Wittlesey and all the others will imprint themselves on your memory and stay there, until you can't wait to find out what happens next.

A blend of black humor and outright horror, cutting commentary and the basest brutality, it is one of the very few shows being done now that can reveal the most majestic qualities of the human spirit. The ongoing struggle to resist surrendering to impulses and urges that cause the evil that men do, in the one place you would least expect to find any light--in a sea of human misery and darkness.


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