Oz (TV)

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Tom Fontana

In 1997, HBO brought us the show Oz. Set in the fictional Oswald State Correctional Facility, Oz featured a wide array of prisoners whose lives fans followed through all 6 seasons the show ran—that is, the prisoners that lived through each season.

  • Runtime: 60 min
  • Country: USA
  • Language: English
  • Genre: Crime/Drama/Thriller
  • Series Dates: 1997-2003


Some of the more prominent cast members were also heavily tattooed. Evan Seinfeld (of Biohazard) played biker Jaz Hoyt. Chris Meloni (currently starring in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) played suspected serial killer Chris Keller. Chuck Zito (a former Hell's Angels biker and ex-con) played Mafioso Chuck Pancamo.

Chris Keller played by Chris Meloni
Jaz Hoyt played by Evan Seinfeld
Chucky Pancamo played by Chuck Zito


  • Each episode opened to scenes from the show intermingled with a shot of a tattoo being inked onto an arm. At the end of the opening credits, the tattoo of the word Oz was displayed. The arm belongs to the show's creator and writer, Tom Fontana.
  • Oz is the first television show to have so many tattooed cast members and to display tattooed people so prominently.

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