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Archive 2010 - 2001
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16 February 18


Homicide: Life on the Street: A Reunion

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Time: 6:30 pm

The Paley Center will reunite key members of the cast and creative team of one of the most influential and acclaimed dramas in television history including: Richard Belzer ("John Munch"); Andre Braugher ("Frank Pembleton"); Tom Fontana, Creator and Writer;  Barry Levinson, Executive Producer.

Tickets go on sale for Paley Center Individual Members onFebruary15 at noon, and to the general public on February 16 at noon. To learn more about the benefits of Paley Membership, including the ability to purchase tickets ahead of the general public, please visit paleycenter.org/join-us.




26 October 17




THE GREAT OZ

Two decades on, it’s clear that the 1997 premiere of Oz was the Big Bang of Great TV.

Read the article by Adrienne Westenfeld in Esquire



20 October 17






"You know, it’s funny because when you do something and then you go and revisit it 20 years later, you’re sort of terrified that it’s going to be crap. And I just watched the pilot again for the first time in 20 years and I was happy to see, most of all, how incredible the cast was and about the diversity in the show. Which I think 20 years ago was fairly unheard of. "


12 July 17


20 years ago, Oz locked down the prestige-drama formula


JK Simmons from OZ

This series premiered in the late ’90s, featured an expansive cast, and juggled humor and realism in a gritty setting. There were capital-letter themes, lots of nudity, and warring factions, not to mention Edie Falco in a starring role.






7 June 17

Tom invited William Daniels and friends for a get together to celebrate the publication of
“There I Go Again”.





“Bless you, Bill Daniels! Thanks to your wonderful book, I get to live the best years of my life over again—the magical ’80s when we did St. Elsewhere. And not just those wonderful times—I get to relive Two for the Road, The Graduate, and 1776 in the bargain. What a treat!”—Ed Begley Jr.







6 June 17

Vice logo

20 Years of 'OZ': The Show That Changed TV Forever



At the end of the last millennium, HBO gave the green light to a prison drama with a difference, and television hasn't been the same since.



6 June 17



HBO’s Joe Paterno Movie Gets Green Light With
Al Pacino Starring & Barry Levinson Directing



Almost two years after HBO hit pause on its film about the Penn State football scandal starring Al Pacino, the project is moving forward with a green light and a new director. Barry Levinson is set to direct and executive produce the movie, reuniting with Pacino and HBO.



3 August 16




‘Havana Quartet’: Tom Fontana Joins Antonio Banderas Starz Series As EP

Rex/Shutterstock/Associated Press

...looking to be the first U.S. series to film in Cuba on a continuous basis.

read Nellie Andreeva’s article here




15 June 16
ATX logo
Tom Fontana – A Conversation at ATX
BY JARED MUNSON

Fontana stresses that ratings shouldn’t be the main indicator if a show should be renewed or not. It should be about more about what is actually good.         read the article here

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11 June 16

Credit: Omar L. Gallaga / AMERICAN-STATESMAN

How HBO’s ‘Oz’ and ‘The Wire’ changed the game...

Three showrunners of some of the most influential TV dramas of the so-called golden age of TV shared the stage at the ATX Television Festival Saturday morning at Google Fiber Space, describing the birth of HBO’s original dramas, what it was like to create iconic shows such as “The Wire” and “Homicide: Life on the Street” and why despicable characters still make for great TV.            read the article here



30 March 16





Dramas like 'Game of Thrones' and 'Orange is the New Black' owe a great deal to HBO's original ambitious prison drama

When HBO produced Oz in 1997, American audiences had never seen anything like it on television. The show was ruthlessly violent — criticizing the penal justice system, portraying both rape and homophobia, interrogating race relations and pitting Muslims against Christians. What’s more, it was heavily stylized, beginning each episode with a prelude from wheelchair-bound prisoner Augustus Hill (Harold Perrineau), who waxed poetic on larger themes affecting the prisoners in Oswald State Penitentiary.

Read the Inverse article by Emily Gaudette here



3 March 16



You Married Them Once, but What About Twice?




After 22 years, the divorce didn’t work out for Sagan Lewis and Tom Fontana.


They tried to maintain a severed union. And for more than two decades, they were successful. Ms. Lewis, a former actress, lived in the verdant tangle of Hawaii and then Arizona; he moved to the cobblestones of the West Village.

She had a child on her own; he wrote and produced some of the most hard-edge, violent shows on television. They saw each other on occasion and still loved each other, but were not, emphatically, a couple.

And yet, something kept bringing them together again. Finally, as if orchestrated by a Hollywood show-runner, in July, the woman who found comfort in the red rocks of Sedona and the man who lives in a 10,000-square-foot building in Manhattan, remarried.

Read the NYTimes article here



 16 February 16


‘Killing Fields’ Season Finale Clocks 2.5 Million Viewers On Discovery Channel
By Lisa de Moraes
 

The season finale of Discovery’s first true-crime series Killing Fields clocked 2.45 million viewers in Live + 3 Day viewing – a 44% growth from its debut crowd of 1.7M. The series, from Barry Levinson and Tom Fontana, also delivered a season high in the 25-54 demographic, 1.3M v its first episode’s 762K viewers in the demo. Over its run, the series grew in the demo every week, as it took viewers inside an active criminal investigation.
(read the article here)



23 December 15

How a 1980s TV show became the glue that connected 'I Love Lucy' to 'Law & Order: SVU'


When Tom Fontana was a producer on the show “St. Elsewhere” in the 1980s, he loved to push the boundaries of weirdness — at least as much as he could get away with on network TV...





21 November 14

Rise of Epic TV Series: Tom Fontana, Creator of "Oz"

 The WZB is proud to welcome the recipient of three Primetime Emmys and multiple other awards, Tom Fontana, for an event charting both the artistic and the economic revolution that changed the face of TV over the last one and a half decades.            See the interview here



11 November 14

The TV Legacy of St. Elsewhere's
"Tommy Westphall Universe"



read the article by Jim Vorel here


The show’s one truly lasting and iconic contribution to pop culture stems from its bizarre and totally unexpected ending, and the sprawling web of theories that ending implies. And it all starts with the imagination of an autistic boy named Tommy Westphall.



20 April 14

À NU le spectacle au Vingtième Théâtre
  
click on the image to see a video promo for the play
Earlier this year an adaptation of “Strip Search” was presented in Paris.
À NU was adapted and directed by Marc SAEZ 



More images from the production here


TV profile and extended interview




12 April 14

         



11 April 14


Tom Fontana & Chris Long share showrunner secrets.


Two of today's best-respected TV creators shared             production stories at MIPTV.
By Angela Natividad

Read the story here.  Watch the video here





 past TomFontana.com entries are in the Archive