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Can You Name One TV Show With More "That Guys" Than HBO's "Oz"?

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | October 30, 2012 |

By Dustin Rowles | Lists | October 30, 2012 |

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

J.K. Simmons


Harold Perrineau


Kirk Acevedo


Christopher Meloni


Bobby Cannavale


Judy Reyes

Judy Reyes-thumb-450x295-20239.jpeg

Lance Reddick

Lance Reddick 00.jpg

Luis Guzman


Željko Ivanek


Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje


Andrea Anders


Terry Kinney

Lee Terguson


B.D. Wong


Dean Winters


Eamonn Walker


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.