Chapter 1


Tom Fontana

The Man in the HAZMAT Suit

The original trailblazer, Tom Fontana has spent much of his extraordinary 30-year career writing about crime and punishment. Accordingly, I’d be committing a felony by not starting the story of the digital television revolution with him. Not only did he create, write, and produce Oz, the first-ever scripted drama for HBO and indeed premium cable, but he also created the first show for BBC America (Copper), and the first Netflix Original (Borgia).

Fontana was also showrunner on the groundbreaking police series, Homicide: Life on the Street. He and longtime producing partner, Academy Award winner Barry Levinson, together with credited creator Paul Attanasio, adapted the series from the ...

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