SAN FRANCISCO—According to an analysis of IP addresses and Internet traffic statistics, the Wikipedia page for the 1980s-era NBC legal drama L.A. Law has been viewed a total of 874 times today.
The online encyclopedia entry—which gives a plot summary of the program, a season-by- season breakdown of its television ratings, and a description of the Los Angeles building used to film the exterior of the fictitious law firm McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney, and Kuzak—received its first hit at 4:43 a.m. EST, Wikipedia sources confirmed.
"Our L.A. Law page typically gets 915 views on weekdays and 670 on weekends, so we're about 40 off the pace," Wikipedia web moderator Ben Stern said of the entry for the Steven Bochco series, which hasn't aired a new episode since 1994. "Then again, the day isn't over, and if our metrics are correct, Corbin Bernsen's IMDB page should be viewed at least 15 more times before midnight. We generally get some runoff from that."
"That's the usual the flow of traffic to the L.A. Law entry," Stern added. "Bernsen to L.A. Law. Then L.A. Law to Hill Street Blues. Then Hill Street Blues to Dennis Franz."
Created in 2004, the L.A. Law Wikipedia page was designed for those who wanted to instantly access and freely share information about L.A. Law. In the past six years, more than 750,000 unique visitors have used the site to learn which actors were regulars, see how the show dealt with the 1992 Los Angeles riots, or quickly confirm whether L.A. Law was that program that killed off a cast member by having her accidentally fall down an empty elevator shaft.
The most page views it has ever received in a single day was 2,114 on May 18, 2007, which is mostly credited to Harry Hamlin's guest appearance on the Law and Order episode "The Family Hour."
"A rerun of Boston Legal was on and for whatever reason I ended up Googling L.A. Law," said 27-year-old Dayton, OH resident Jaime Corpin, who was three years old when L.A. Law premiered and admitted to never having watched a full episode. "I didn't know Jimmy Smits was in that. Or that the same people also made Doogie Howser, M.D."
"I guess there was a reunion special in 2002 called L.A. Law: The Movie," she added. "The movie's working title was L.A. Law: Return To Justice."
Of the 874 unique visitors today, 762 stayed on the site for less than 80 seconds, with 203 navigating to YouTube to view the L.A. Law opening-credit sequence. However, 366 remained on Wikipedia and clicked on the various hyperlinks within the entry, with 156 accessing the page for "in the closet," 42 clicking on the link for "Bentley," 328 viewing the entries for both "AIDS" and "mentally retarded," and 12 people consulting the article for "running gag," which has been viewed 64 times today.
A majority of the hits came from the Northeast and Southwest, while the lone North Dakotan to view the page reported that the endnote link for the 1987 New York Times article "L.A. Law Series Gains 20 Emmy Nominations" was broken.
"I was wondering what Tom Berenger has been up to these days," officer manager Todd Fitzpatrick said of The Big Chill star whose Wikipedia page is typically viewed 615 times per day, roughly the same number as the entry for the 1993 Sharon Stone thriller Sliver, and 12 million times fewer than the article on Barack Obama. "When I found out he wasn't in Major League: Back To The Minors, and that Corbin Bernsen was the only big-name star to appear in all three movies, I clicked on his page, and then I eventually landed on the L.A. Law Wikipedia page."
"I added a little note for my friend Doug in the 'Series Impact' section," added Fitzpatrick, who was one of 106 people to click on the image of the L.A. Law license plate found in the top right corner of the page. "You should check it out while it's still there."
At press time, only one person who accessed L.A. Law's Wikipedia page clicked the link for Michael Tucker, the 65-year-old actor who portrayed attorney Stuart Markowitz on the series and was born in Baltimore, MD. Tucker was a graduate of Baltimore City College High School and played the part of Gil's agent in Woody Allen's 1985 romantic comedy The Purple Rose Of Cairo, which was inspired by Pirandello's Six Character's In Search Of An Author, won the BAFTA Award for Best Film in 1986, and was filmed at the Bertrand Island Amusement Park, which closed in 1983 and was converted into townhouses in 2001.