Crime Story was Michael Mann's dark and gritty answer to Miami Vice, set amid the dregs of 1960s Chicago and later Las Vegas. Detective Mike Torello and his band of rogueish officers track mobster Ray Luca as he goes from small-time racketeer to casino mogul.
This series has examples of the following:
- Big Bad: Ray Luca is about as big and bad as it gets.
- Black and Gray Morality: Luca and his crew are unequivocally bad, but Torello and his band of officers kill at will and defy legality to catch the bad guys.
- The Cameo: Stratosphere owner Bob Stupak plays a casino owner in one episode.
- Meta Casting: Series star, Dennis Farina was actually a former Chicago Police and had actually once arrested former jewel thief John Santucci, who played Ray Luca's criminal sidekick, Pauli Taglia.
- No Ending: A third season never materialized, thus the show ends on a Cliffhanger.
- Not Quite Dead: Ray Luca, though it's left somewhat ambiguous whether he is Back from the Dead, since he is quite clearly blown up in a nuclear bomb test at the end of season one. In a case of Chemistry Can Do Anything he is revived by scientists for reasons unknown. This plot point is best left ignored.
- Real Song Theme Tune: Del Shannon recorded a new version of his best-known song, "Runaway," for the show.
- Viva Las Vegas: The second season of the show is mostly set here. The city is shown to be a teeming hive of underworld activity and a member of Torello's crew develops a gambling problem.