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

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Top Rated TV #55 | Nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys. Another 14 wins & 51 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
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George Morfogen ...
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 Father Ray Mukada 46 episodes, 1997-2003
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Philip Scozzarella ...
 Officer Joseph Mineo / ... 46 episodes, 1997-2003
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Kristin Rohde ...
 Officer Claire Howell 35 episodes, 1999-2003
Carl DiMaggio ...
 Officer Len Lopresti / ... 34 episodes, 1999-2003
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Timothy L. Brown ...
 Officer Jason Armstrong 32 episodes, 1997-2003
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 Tony Masters 27 episodes, 1999-2003
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 Officer Diane Whittlesey 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

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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:

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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

The location of Oswald is never mentioned in the series. See more »

Goofs

When Doctor Gloria Nathan (Lauren Velez) talks to Ryan O'Reilly (Dean Winters) about his cancerous tumour in his chest, she says that the lump is "under the left nipple". However, he was clearly bleeding from the right nipple and ever clutching the right one while in the infirmary... See more »

Quotes

William Giles: [repeatedly] Peter... Peter Marie.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Its influence will elevate the level of television drama for years to come.
19 January 2003 | by (Indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

The stature of this program must be measured in the context of its format. These are not feature films, but one hour dramas, no different in concept or constraint from countless other network counterparts. But, oh how different in result.

Oz is not for everyone. It is violent, lurid, obscene, profane and controversial. Oz us narrated dramatically by a "Greek Chorus" of inmates who make insightful observations not just about Oz, but applicable to the outside world as well. The talent, none of it marquee, is nonetheless the finest assembly of supporting actors an ensemble cast could hope for.

In order to keep ratings up, the stories sometimes veer into the unbelievable, but the grit and reality are never gone for long. Oz is also a bundle of irony. Although it deals with homosexuality with insight and objectivity in every episode, it just as often bristles with gratuitous homoerotic overtone. Despite the fact that it overflows with action and violence, it never mistakes kenesis for story.

Sometimes, Oz borders on, and crosses well into, genius. Its often surreal direction elevates otherwise base events to sublime levels. Music, pacing, convoluted story lines careening and intersecting in ways that are at the same time graceful and clumbsy, just like real life.

This is said to be the last season of Oz, and yet, only two seasons are on DVD. With constant reruns and each episode being aired about a dozen times a week, you may be tired of this jewel anyway, but its influence will elevate the level of television drama for years to come.


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