Bob Balaban, Kathy Bates, Jean Desegonzac, Uli Edel, Nick Gomez, Mary Harron and Keith Samples to Direct Episodes of Second Season of Acclaimed Drama Series OZ

March 12, 1998

Now in Production in New York for July Debut on HBO

Bob Balaban, Kathy Bates, Jean deSegonzac, Uli Edel, Nick Gomez, Mary Harron and Keith Samples are set to direct episodes for the second season of the CableACE Award-winning drama series OZ, now in production in New York for July debut on HBO.

Tom Fontana and Barry Levinson are executive producers of OZ, which debuted its first eight shows last July and August, and received seven CableACE nominations, winning three, including Dramatic Series. HBO's first venture into dramatic series programming, OZ was the most-watched original drama series on cable.* Eight new episodes of the series began filming in New York Jan. 29.

OZ -- short for Oswald Maximum Security Penitentiary -- explores the lives of the correctional officers and inmates of an urban prison. Newsday wrote, "TV drama will never be the same again," and the New York Daily News described the series as "brilliant."

Bob Balaban's directing credits include "The Last Good Time" (which he also wrote), "My Boyfriend's Back" and "Parents." His acting credits include HBO Pictures' "The Late Shift," episodes of "Seinfeld" and such feature films as "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Altered States" and "Waiting for Guffman."

Kathy Bates won a Best Actress Academy Award(r) for her role in 1990's "Misery." Her other feature film credits include "Titanic" and the upcoming "Primary Colors." She has won numerous honors for her extensive stage work, including "'night, Mother," "Fifth of July" and "Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune." She received a Golden Globe Award, a SAG Award and an American Comedy Award for her performance as Helen Kushnick in HBO Pictures' "The Late Shift." Bates' directorial credits include episodes of "Homicide" and "NYPD Blue," and a segment of the "Great Performances" series "Talking With..."

Jean deSegonzac directed two episodes of OZ last season, as well as directing episodes of "Homicide." He also directed the recent Dennis Rodman TV film "As Bad as I Wanna Be."

Uli Edel's film credits include "Last Exit to Brooklyn," "Body of Evidence" and the HBO Pictures presentation "Tyson."

Nick Gomez directed an episode of OZ last season. His feature film credits include "illtown," "New Jersey Drive" and "Laws of Gravity."

Mary Harron made her feature film debut by directing and writing the critically acclaimed "I Shot Andy Warhol."

Keith Samples directed the feature film "A Smile Like Yours," with Greg Kinnear and Lauren Holly. He was also executive producer of the TV films "Judicial Consent," "Widow's Kiss" and "Above Suspicion."

OZ is a Levinson/Fontana Co. production, produced in association with Rysher Entertainment. Executive producers, Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana; co-executive producer, Jim Finnerty; supervising producer, Bridget Potter.

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