Theatre Stars Head Cast of Final "Oz" Season; HBO Series Debuts Jan. 5

News   Theatre Stars Head Cast of Final "Oz" Season; HBO Series Debuts Jan. 5 The sixth season of "Oz" — the acclaimed jailhouse series — premieres on Sunday, Jan. 5 at 9 PM ET on HBO.

The final season of the gritty series will feature performances from several Tony Award winners. In addition to Rita Moreno and B.D. Wong, who are series regulars, the sixth season will boast Tony winners Betty Buckley, who returns to her role as Suzanne Fitzgerald, an inmate's mother; Patti LuPone, who will play an archivist in the prison library; Phyllis Newman, who portrays a U.S. Senator in the final episode; and Joel Grey, who will appear as one of the Oz inmates. Among the many other theatre stars who have appeared on the celebrated series are Brian F. O'Byrne, Milo O'Shea, Austin Pendleton, Ben Vereen, Mary Alice, Patrick Breen, Charles Busch, Philip Casnoff and recent Frankie and Johnnie star Edie Falco. In a recent interview for USA Today, "Oz" writer/producer Tom Fontana reflected on the HBO series that he created. "If you're going to do a show about prison, you can't do a show that people will be comfortable watching. If I've made people uncomfortable, I've succeeded . . . I'd like to think years from now that people will see past the surface shock of it and see hopefully the deeper truths we've been dealing with. The struggle to survive on a day to-day basis, whether you're in prison or facing Saddam. There is a faceless population in the U.S. that deserves more recognition and attention than it gets by most of us on the outside."

For more information, go to www.hbo.com.