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 fictional level 4 maximum-security state prison, apparently in New York (given the New York state flag and motto seen in the background when public officials are shown speaking publicly, and references to "upstate", a term commonly used in New York). The prison is most likely named after New York Commissioner of Correctional Services Russell George Oswald, who was the head of New York's penal system at the time of Attica Prison riot. The character Tim McManus refers to Attica as his hometown and the riot as his original impetus for his wanting to set up Emerald City.