On July 12, 1997, Oz premiered on HBO, ushering in the new era of uncensored and on interrupted one hour drama to the television landscape.
Since that time, HBO has produced some of the most groundbreaking and influential crime TV series of all time, and the creators of four of those series have been guests on the Crime Story Podcast.
On today’s episode, we take a look at why those creators believe that HBO was such a special place for them to work.
We begin with Oz creator Tom Fontana telling us about how Oz landed at HBO, and about the freedom and responsibility that came with creating the first Pay TV drama.
We then hear from The Wire creator David Simon, telling us how his first creation The Corner landed at HBO.
Next, The Sopranos creator David Chase assesses how different his experience at HBO was from his profoundly unsatisfying experiences in the network television landscape, and how The Sopranos was in many ways a response to the Consumerism promoted by network television.
And finally, The Night Of Creator Steve Zaillian speaks of how his influences come from the film world and how HBO offered him an opportunity to bring filmic sensibilities to television without any knowledge of the conventions of television.
You can find the audio and transcripts of my interview with Tom Fontana here.
You can find the audio and transcripts of my interview with Steve Zaillian here.