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HBO paroles ‘Oz’ for its syndie run

Eight new skeins in production

HBO prison drama “Oz” will end its run early next year after six seasons on the pay cable network.

Production is underway on eight new episodes from scribe-exec producer Tom Fontana. With those eight, 56 episodes — enough for syndication — will have been produced.

Among the directors for the final season will be series vets Adam Bernstein and “Oz” director of photography Alex Kakrzewski. In addition, six directors will make their episodic TV debuts: Marc Klasfeld, Judy Dennis, David Von Ancken, John Henry Davis, Daniel Loflin and Ted Bogosian.

Series, which chronicles power struggles between inmates and correctional officers inside the Oswald State Correctional Facility, was HBO’s first hourlong dramatic skein. It debuted in 1997.

” ‘Oz’ has been a landmark series for HBO, one that has had a tremendous impact on both subscribers and critics,” said HBO original programming prexy Chris Albrecht in a statement announcing the show’s end.

“We look forward to working with Tom Fontana again,” Albrecht added.

Fontana said: “With these final eight episodes of ‘Oz,’ I will finish telling the story I originally set out to tell … I want the series to go out at what I hope will be the top of its form. And though it’s the end of ‘Oz,’ it’s the beginning of our next collaboration with HBO.”

Fontana is an exec producer of “Baseball Wives,” a series HBO plans to debut early next year.

Barry Levinson and Jim Finnerty exec produce “Oz” with Fontana, while Jorge Zamacona and Bridget Potter are supervising producers of the Levinson/Fontana Co. production.

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