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.
- 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.