Can You Name One TV Show With More "That Guys" Than HBO's "Oz"?
Most folks attribute the change in the television drama landscape to "The Sopranos" and "Six Feet Under," and while they do deserve much of that credit, it was HBO'z "Oz" that paved the way for "The Sopranos." It was HBO's first one-hour drama, and being on HBO, it was the first drama that could really feature a lot of profanity, drug use, violence, and nudity, and as a result, it was more intense, more provocative, and more bleak than anything else on television (it's one drawback, perhaps, was that -- like Tom Fontana's current show on BBC America, "Copper," -- it was exposition heavy).
It was also one of the first American shows to limit the number of episodes in a season (all seasons of "Oz" had eight episodes, except the fourth, which had 16). Most importantly, is that it happened to also be a hot bed of talent, especially for character actors, many of whom got their break-out roles on "Oz," and many of whom currently populate television's best dramas (and occasional comedies) in mostly "That Guy" roles.
Take a look at the "That Guy" talent assembled on a drama that is too often overlooked