Dennis Farina: Lt. Mike Torello(24 episodes, 1986-1988)-; Anthony Denison: Ray Luca-(24 episodes, 1986-1988); Stephen Lang: David Abrams-(23 episodes, 1986-1988); Bill Smitrovich: Sgt. Danny Krychek-24 episodes, 1986-1988); Steve Ryan: Det. Nate Grossman-(24 episodes, 1986-1988); Bill Campbell: Det. Joey Indelli-(24 episodes, 1986-1988); Paul Butler: Det. Walter Clemmons-(24 episodes, 1986-1988)
; John Santucci: Paul Pauli Taglia-(20 episodes, 1986-1988); Darlanne Fluegel: Julie Torello-(10 episodes, 1986-1987)
Plot: First telecast September 18, 1986, "Crime Story" was the two-part pilot for the subsequent series which traced the longstanding relationship between Chicago cop Lt. Mike Torello (Dennis Farina) and mobster Ray Luca (Anthony Denison). As head of the major crime unit, Torello is not above circumventing the rules to bring Luca's minions to justice. In the pilot, Luca deliberately provokes the lieutenant by hiring the son of one of Torello's close friends to pull off a series of robberies. The level of realism is heightened by the fact that star Dennis Farina is in fact a former Chicago police officer, while John Santucci, playing one of Luca's henchman, had once been a genuine criminal. "Crime Story" was created by "Miami Vice" mentor Michael Mann.
Season One of the serialized cop drama "Crime Story" begins in the Chicago of 1963, with Lt. Mike Torello (Dennis Farina) of the city's MCU (Major Crime Unit) deeply committed to bringing his longtime nemesis, youthful gangster Ray Luca (Anthony John Denison) to justice. The effort exacts a heavy toll on Torello's private life, destroying his marriage to his wife, Julie (Darlanne Fluegel), and not doing much good for his subsequent fling with Inga Thorson (Patricia Charbonneau). Meanwhile, the ruthlessly ambitious Luca seems to thrive on being pursued, gleefully eluding arrest at every turn and merrily mowing down anyone who threatens to impede his rise to the top of the mob. Along the way, Luca comes in contact with an impressive array of celebrity gangsters and lesser hoodlums. Midway through season one, Luca and his loyal but dim-bulbed henchman Pauli Taglia (John Santucci) leave Chicago to pursue new vistas in Las Vegas. To keep the hunt alive, Torello and his assistants all become Federal agents, à la "The Untouchables." Throughout the season, a number of future stars appear in guest roles, among them David Caruso, Michael Madsen, Ray Sharkey, Lorraine Bracco, and Julia Roberts. Season one concludes on an explosive cliffhanger, as Ray and Pauli try to escape across the Yucca Flats in Nevada -- just as an atom-bomb test is about to begin!
Season Two: Astonishingly, gangster Ray Luca (Anthony John Denison) and his doltish henchman Pauli (John Santucci) have managed to survive the atom-bomb explosion that ended Season One. This allows the duo to resume their criminal activities, ever keeping one step ahead from relentless federal agent Mike Torello (Dennis Farina) and his men. Since the series is still taking place in the 1960s, chasing mobsters remains far easier than catching them, even when an overambitious Kefauver-like senator begins hauling in Luca's cronies to appear before the Organized Crime Commission. Meanwhile, Torello's private life is still in tatters, as proven when his ex-wife, Julie (Darlanne Fluegel), marries another man, played by David Soul -- then prevails upon Torello to rescue her husband from kidnappers merely for old time's sake. Adding insult to injury so far as Torello is concerned, Luca is given immunity in exchange for his cooperation with the Crime Commission, and soon is back in Vegas pulling his old underhanded tricks. This compels one of Torello's strongest allies, liberal prosecutor David Abrams (Stephen Lang), to resign in disgust, leaving the good guys still another man short. Eventually, Luca overplays his hand and is hauled in on racketeering charges -- but manages to slip through Torello's fingers one more time, thanks to an unexpected incident in faraway Vietnam! It is not until the series' three-episode finale that Torello finally corners the fugitive Luca in a Latin-American country -- but though this is the end of the series, is it really the end of the Torello-Luca blood feud?
~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide