Californication Information

Californication is an American dramedy television series that debuted on Showtime on August 13, 2007. The show was created by Tom Kapinos. Hank Moody (David Duchovny) is a troubled novelist who moves to California and suffers from writer's block which complicates his relationships with his longtime girlfriend Karen (Natascha McElhone) and daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin). Californication's other main characters are Moody's best friend and agent, Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler), and Charlie's wife and then ex-wife Marcy (Pamela Adlon). The show has been nominated for and has won several awards, including winning one Emmy Award (nominated for two others) and one Golden Globe Award (nominated for three others). Californication has aired for five complete seasons and a sixth season premiered on Sunday, January 13, 2013.

Series overview

Main article: List of Californication episodes
The series revolves around Hank Moody, a novelist plagued by personal demons. He blames his longtime writer's block on reasons ranging from the hedonism of Los Angeles to the departure of his girlfriend Karen. Hank constantly deals with the consequences of his inability to say "no" to drugs, sex, and alcohol while trying to show his family that he can be a good, responsible, caring father to Becca and a monogamous partner to Karen.

The show was renewed for a second season on September 7, 2007. The season 1 finale, titled "The Last Waltz" (in homage to Martin Scorsese's concert film), originally aired on Showtime on October 29, 2007. Season 2 began filming in April 2008, and was underway as of June 2008. The premiere episode of season 2 aired September 28, 2008. The first season was released on DVD in the US on June 17, 2008. Showtime renewed Californication for a third season, which premiered on Sunday September 27, 2009 at 10 pm.

The show is laced with rock culture references. It frequently alludes to Warren Zevon and featured Henry Rollins in a guest appearance; and some episode titles, such as "Filthy Lucre" and "Turn The Page", allude to album and song names (Sex Pistols' "Filthy Lucre Live" and Bob Seger's "Turn the Page", respectively). In addition, Hank's lawyer in season 4 is called Abby Rhodes, and his first three novels, "South of Heaven", "Seasons In The Abyss" and "God Hates Us All," are named after Slayer albums.

Season One

Season 1 (August 13 " October 29, 2007) followed Hank and the other main characters in the months leading up to Karen's planned marriage to Bill, a Los Angeles publisher. Hank wallows deep in self-loathing following the release of A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, a drastically altered and watered-down"?yet commercially popular"?movie adaptation of his most recent novel, God Hates Us All.

Hank spends most of his time drinking and not writing. One day he picks up a younger woman in a bookstore; after they have sex, he discovers that she's Bill's 16-year-old daughter Mia. Mia proceeds to harass Hank during his visits to his family, and she uses the threat of illegal sex charges to extort stories from him that she passes off as her own for her high-school creative-writing class.

Hank's father's death triggers an alcohol-fueled binge and a sexual encounter with Karen. After the funeral, Hank stays in New York to finish a manuscript for a new novella. But upon returning to L.A., he believes the original copy to be lost when he is carjacked. Mia, however, had previously copied the original, and now she takes credit for it herself. On Karen and Bill's wedding day, Hank chooses to accept the situation, but as he and Becca leave the reception, Karen runs out and jumps into his car, presumably to resume their life together.

On June 3, 2008, Showtime released the season-one soundtrack Temptation: Music From The Showtime Series Californication, which features music from the original series. Included artists are The Rolling Stones, Peeping Tom, My Morning Jacket, The Doors, Tommy Stinson, Bob Dylan, Harvey Danger, Madeleine Martin, Gus Black, Mexican institute of sound, Warren Zevon, The Heavy, Champion, Steve Earle, Elton John, and two original tracks created for the show by Tyler Bates and Tree Adams.

Season Two

In Season 2 (September 28 " December 14, 2008), Hank and Karen's resumed relationship seems to be working out, Becca seems happy again, and their house is on the market. Hank gets a vasectomy and attends a party thrown by Sonja, a woman he had sex with in Season 1. A mistake and a fight with an obnoxious police officer land Hank in jail, where he meets world-famous record producer Lew Ashby, who commissions Hank to write his biography.

Too-frequent office masturbation costs Charlie Runkle his job. He decides to go into the porn industry, becomes the agent/paternal-figure of a porn star named Daisy, and spends the majority of his and his wife Marcy's nest egg financing the artsy porn movie Vaginatown (a take on Chinatown), starring Daisy. Marcy goes into rehab for her cocaine addiction, and Charlie starts an affair with Daisy. Hank proposes to Karen on the night they discover Hank could be the father of Sonja's child. Karen decides they can't be together and refuses his proposal, leading him to go back to his old ways"?continuing the show's centrality on clandestine sexuality.

Hank moves in with Ashby, who"?to Hank's dismay"?starts a romance with Mia. Becca finds boyfriend named Damien. Mia's book is a hit and Ashby holds a party in its and her honor, where Damien cheats on Becca and Charlie decides to leave Marcy for Daisy. After the party, Hank sees that Ashby's old girlfriend (The One That Got Away) has finally resurfaced...but when Hank goes looking for Ashby upstairs, he is dying from snorting heroin he had mistaken for cocaine.

Hank finishes Ashby's biography. Charlie ends up working at a BMW dealership in the Valley, introducing himself as Chuck Runkle. Sonja's baby arrives; it is biracial, which proves that Hank cannot be the father. Hank and Karen slowly move toward reuniting. Karen is offered a job in New York and Hank is happy to go back there with her, but when Damien apologizes to Becca and they reconcile, Hank decides it would be wrong to take Becca out of L.A. and stays there with her while Karen starts her job in New York. The season closes with Karen's plane leaving for New York and Hank and Becca walking on the Venice boardwalk.

Season Three

Season 3 (September 27 " December 13, 2009) began where Season 2 ended. Key elements include Hank becoming a teacher, the various shenanigans he gets into when let loose on a college campus, and his ongoing relationship with his daughter Becca.

The father-daughter relationship between Hank and Becca becomes decidedly moodier as she progresses through her teenage years, and Hank kept questioning his fatherhood ability as he watched his daughter become more like him than he ever wanted. He also continued to complicate his relationship with Becca's mother, his longtime love Karen, with various relationships with females of all ages.

In the season finale, Hank has recurring nightmares of floating in a pool, drinking heavily while talking to his most recent conquests, who are swimming naked around him; Karen and Becca watch poolside. In reality, Mia returns to Hank's home and invites the family to the media launch of the paperback edition of her book. At the afterparty, Hank meets Mia's manager. Also her new boyfriend, he knows of Mia's history with Hank and offers Hank a way out by coming clean to the press about how the novel came about. But as it will affect Karen and Becca, Hank must decline. When they meet again, the men break into a fight and the manager/boyfriend threatens to call the police. Hank hurries home to Karen and tells her that he slept with Mia in season one. Karen breaks down uncontrollably, the argument bursts onto the street, and a police car arrives as Hank is trying to calm Karen. When one of the two officers grabs Hank from behind, Hank belts him and is bundled into the back of the car as Becca runs out to try to stop the police. The final scene shows a dream sequence of Hank in the pool again, drinking out of the bottle. He falls from his seat and drops his drink. The last shot shows Hank sinking while the bottle remains in shot.

Season Four

Season 4 (January 9, 2011 " March 27, 2011) filming began on April 19, 2010. Guest stars included Carla Gugino as Hank's lawyer Abby; Zoë Kravitz as Becca's new friend who gets her to join her all-girl band, Queens of Dogtown; Addison Timlin as Sasha Bingham, a movie star; and Rob Lowe as Eddy Nero, a famous actor who wants to play Hank's character in a movie. Zakk Wylde, singer and guitarist for Black Label Society and former guitarist for Ozzy Osbourne, has a cameo as a guitar-shop employee in episode 2, the title of which, "Suicide Solution", comes from the Ozzy Osbourne song. Michael Ealy played a new love interest for Karen in 4 episodes, and Madeline Zima returned as Mia for 4 episodes.

Season four picks up 72 hours after Hank is arrested at the end of Season 3 and revolves around Hank's thoroughly destroyed life. His secrets have come to light and the world knows that he penned Fucking & Punching, also revealing that he slept with Mia. Karen hates Hank and Becca is disappointed in her father, so he goes to live at a hotel. Season four follows his new legal troubles, such as his lawyer's attempts to get him acquitted of statutory-rape charges, and the development of a film adaption of "Fucking & Punching", and the various troubles he causes with the production. Other developing storylines include Charlie learning his vasectomy may have been botched and he may have impregnated Marcy, Becca joining an all female rock band, and Karen finding a new boyfriend.

On January 11, 2011 the Californication Season 4 Soundtrack was released The soundtrack features music in Season Four of Californication. Exclusive tracks include Tommy Lee's solo version of "Home Sweet Home" and three rock covers from the show's on-screen band Queens of Dogtown. Other artists on the soundtrack are Shooter Jennings & Hierophant, Eagles of Death Metal, Better Than Ezra, My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult, Monster Magnet vs. Adrian Young, Cracker, The Soundtrack of Our Lives, Warren Zevon, and Gregory Alan Isakov. The soundtrack was co-produced by Nora Felder and Budd Carr, the show's music supervisors.

Season Five

The show returned to Showtime for its fifth season in January 2012. Creator Tom Kapinos said that the show needed to take on a new direction to stay fresh. The narrative takes place 2 years and 9 months after season four, almost at the end of Hank's probation. Hank has since made New York his home, but he returns to Los Angeles for a business-related visit which family issues end up extending. Karen is married to Professor Bates, 19-year-old Becca is in college and has a new boyfriend, and Marcy is married to Stu Beggs and sharing custody of her son Stuart with Charlie.

Season Six

The sixth season is currently on air and features a storyline revolving around Hank penning a musical with "coked up rock star" Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin). The sixth season will also feature rock star Marilyn Manson in a role. Season Six of Californication started on January 13, 2013 at 10:30PM ET/PT

Season Seven

Showtime announced that Californication has been renewed for a seventh season. Production is projected to begin in 2013, with a return set for 2014. No exact date is known at this time.


Main characters

  • Henry James "Hank" Moody (David Duchovny) is an erratic but esteemed writer who frequently becomes embroiled in bizarre, scandalous situations. Many reviewers liken Moody's character to that of writer Charles Bukowski. His daughter notes he behaves "like a poor man's Bukowski".
  • Karen van der Beek (Natascha McElhone) is Hank's long-term on-and-off girlfriend and mother of his daughter. She is an architect.
  • Rebecca "Becca" Moody (Madeleine Martin) is Hank and Karen's daughter.
  • Charlie Runkle (Evan Handler) is Hank's agent and best friend.
  • Marcy Runkle (Pamela Adlon) is Charlie's wife, later ex-wife. (recurring Season 1, regular Season 2-present)

Recurring characters

  • Bill Lewis (Damian Young) is Karen van der Beek's ex-fiancé, Mia's father, and Hank's nemesis in season 1. (Season 1, also appears in Season 4).
  • Todd Carr (Chris Williams) is the director of the movie adaptation of Hank's book. (Season 1, also appears in Season 4)
  • Dani (Rachel Miner) is an ambitious agent who was formerly Charlie Runkle's assistant.
  • Lew Ashby (Callum Keith Rennie) is a record producer and the topic of one of Hank's books; based on real life producer Rick Rubin (The scenes of Ashby's house were actually filmed in Rick Rubin's house.)
  • Janie Jones (Mädchen Amick) is Lew Ashby's long-lost love.
  • Daisy (Carla Gallo) is Charlie Runkle's porn-star client, later his extramarital lover.
  • Michelle (Surfer Girl) (Michelle Lombardo) is Hank's friend and, on at least 2 occasions, lover.
  • Eddy Nero (Rob Lowe) is an actor set to portray Hank in his upcoming movie.
  • Beatrice (Trixie) (Judy Greer) is a prostitute who services Hank.
  • Ronny Praeger (Hal Ozsan) is a porn director, Charlie Runkle's business partner in the 'Vaginatown' movie (4 episodes of Season 2).
  • Sonja (Paula Marshall) has a brief affair with Hank in season one and shows up again in season two, becoming friends with Karen.
  • Julian (Angus MacFadyen) is Hank's season-two nemesis: Sonja's spiritual guru and love-interest (6 episodes of Season 2).
  • Damien Patterson (Ezra Miller) is Becca's boyfriend, son of her English teacher, Mrs. Patterson (Five episodes).
  • Mrs. Patterson (Justine Bateman) is Damien's mother and Becca's English teacher; she and Hank engage in a brief affair.
  • Stacey Koons (Peter Gallagher) is the Dean of the college where Hank teaches; Hank once teasingly called him Dean Koontz (Season 3).
  • Felicia Koons (Embeth Davidtz) is the wife of Dean Koons and a teacher at the college; she and Hank engage in a brief affair (Season 3).
  • Chelsea Koons (Ellen Woglom) is Becca's best friend and the daughter of Hank's bosses, Felicia and Stacey Koons (Season 3).
  • Jill Robinson (Diane Farr) is Hank's TA; they engage in a brief affair (Season 3).
  • Jackie (Eva Amurri) is Hank's student who moonlights as a stripper; they engage in a brief affair (Season 3).
  • Sue Collini (Kathleen Turner) is Charlie Runkle's boss (Season 3) and occasional sex partner.
  • 1970s and 1980s teen idol Rick Springfield plays a depraved version of himself (Season 3).
  • Paul Rider (James Frain) is Mia's manager and boyfriend (Season 3, 1 episode).
  • Abby Rhodes (Carla Gugino) is Hank's lawyer in Season 4.
  • Ben (Michael Ealy) is Karen's new love interest in Season 4.
  • Stu Beggs (Stephen Tobolowsky) is a movie producer and Marcy's boyfriend and later husband (Season 4, 5 & 6).
  • Sasha Bingham (Addison Timlin) is an actress scheduled to play Mia; she and Hank engage in a brief affair (Season 4, 8 episodes).
  • Carrie (Natalie Zea) is Hank's love interest in New York (Season 5 & 6).
  • Samurai Apocalypse (RZA) is a rapper-turned creative business associate of Hank (Season 5).
  • Kali (Meagan Good) is Samurai Apocalypse's former lover; the undeniable chemistry she shares with Hank first becomes apparent when they find themselves sitting together on a plane flight (Season 5).
  • Tyler (Scott Michael Foster) is Becca's boyfriend, disliked by both Hank and Richard (Season 5).
  • Lizzie (Camilla Luddington) is the nanny of Marcy and Charlie Runkle's son; she later becomes Charlie's occasional sex partner. (Season 5)
  • Atticus Fetch (Tim Minchin) is a rock star writing a musical with Hank (Season 6).
  • Faith (Maggie Grace) is a groupie and a recovering addict (Season 6).
  • Ophelia Robins (Maggie Wheeler) is Marcy's man-hating spiritual guide (Season 6).
  • Mia Lewis (pen name Mia Cross) (Madeline Zima) is Bill Lewis' teenage daughter. Hank has a one-night stand with her, oblivious to her age and identity, in the show's pilot. (regular Season 1"2, recurring Season 3-4)
  • Richard Bates (Jason Beghe) is Karen van der Beek's old professor, later husband. In season 5, Bates published Blood Mountain, which Stu Beggs bought the rights to turn into a movie. (recurring Season 3, regular Season 5)

Critical reception

The critical reaction for Californication has been generally favorable, with a rating of 70 on Metacritic. However, American critic Nathan Rabin gave Season 1 an "F" rating on The AV Club, calling it "insufferable."

There has been a backlash from conservative groups who oppose the explicit nature of the program. Conservative columnist Andrew Bolt criticized the program in the Australian newspaper the Herald Sun for the pilot's opening dream scene, in which a nun performs oral sex on Hank Moody in a church. The Australian Christian Lobby's managing director Jim Wallace also called for a boycott, not only of Network Ten, but all advertisers who advertise during the show, in response to a scene in which Hank and Sonja smoke marijuana, have sex, and vomit. When Network Ten premiered Season 2, the Christian fundamentalist group Salt Shakers led an e-mail campaign against advertisers, requesting they withdraw their advertisements. This resulted in 49 companies withdrawing their advertising, including the show's main sponsor, Just Car Insurance.

The show and the lead actor, David Duchovny, were both nominated for Golden Globes in 2007; Duchovny won the lead actor award, but the award for best TV series in this category went to Extras.

Awards & nominations

American Cinema Editors (ACE)

  • 2007: Best Edited Half-Hour Television Series (for "Hell-A Woman", nominated)
BAFTA Television Awards

  • 2007: Best International (nominated)
Casting Society of America

  • 2007: Outstanding Casting "? Television Pilot: Comedy (nominated)
  • 2008: Outstanding Casting "? Television Series "? Comedy (nominated)
Emmy Awards

  • 2008: Outstanding Casting "? Comedy Series (nominated)
  • 2008: Outstanding Cinematography "? Half-Hour Series (Peter Levy, for "Pilot", won)
  • 2009: Outstanding Casting "? Comedy Series (nominated)
  • 2009: Outstanding Cinematography "? Half-Hour Series (Michael Weaver, for "In Utero", won)
Golden Globe Awards

  • 2007: Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, won)
  • 2007: Best Series - Musical or Comedy (nominated)
  • 2008: Best Actor "? Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
  • 2008: Best Series "? Musical or Comedy (nominated)
  • 2009: Best Actor "? Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
  • 2010: Best Actor "? Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
  • 2012: Best Actor "? Musical or Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
PGA Awards

  • 2010: Producer of the Year Award in Episodic Television "? Comedy (Kapinos, Duchovny, Fattore, Dyer, Fusaro nominated)
Prism Awards

  • 2009: Comedy Episode (for "The Raw & the Cooked", nominated)
Satellite Awards

  • 2008: Best Actor - Musical or Comedy Series (David Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)
Screen Actors Guild Awards

  • 2008: Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series (Duchovny as Hank Moody, nominated)

DVD release

Region 1

DVD name Release date Ep # Additional information
Californication " The 1st Season June 17, 2008 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 1. Bonus features include commentaries on the pilot, biographies of the 5 main actors and 16 photos from the show. Showtime has also provided four downloadable episodes, two from Dexter Season 2 and two from The Tudors Season 2.
Californication " The 2nd Season August 25, 2009 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 2. Bonus features include interviews with cast members and Marcie's Waxing Salon. Showtime has also provided four downloadable episodes, one from The United States of Tara Season 1 and three from The Tudors Season 3.
Californication " The 3rd Season November 9, 2010 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 3.
Californication " The 4th Season November 1, 2011 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 4.
Californication " The 5th Season December 18, 2012 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 5.

Region 2

DVD name Release date Ep # Additional information
Californication " The 1st Season June 16, 2008 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 1. The bonus features in the UK release included an audio commentary of the pilot episode, as well as interviews with the cast and director.
Californication " The 2nd Season August 10, 2009 12 This three-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 2. Bonus features include interviews with the cast and the show's writer Tom Kapinos and a never-before-seen featurette.
Californication " The 3rd Season February 7, 2011 12 This three-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 3. Bonus features include various featurettes and Pamela Adlon's Video Diary.
Californication " The 4th Season February 13, 2012 12 This two-disc box set includes all 12 episodes of Season 4.


The Red Hot Chili Peppers filed a lawsuit on November 19, 2007 against Showtime Networks over the name of the series, which is also the name of the band's 1999 album and hit single. They state in the lawsuit that the series "constitutes a false designation of origin, and has caused and continues to cause a likelihood of confusion, mistake, and deception as to source, sponsorship, affiliation, and/or connection in the minds of the public". Pointing to Dani California, a character who appears in both the series and three songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers (including Californication) as well as confusion when shopping for their album and that of the series soundtrack, the band members are seeking unspecified damages. They are also requesting that a new name be found for the TV show.

Showtime Networks is expected to argue that the band did not in fact create the term Californication. They point out that the term appeared in print in Time magazine in 1972, in an article called The Great Wild Californicated West, while show producer Tom Kapinos cites the inspiration as coming from a bumper sticker he saw in the '70s that read "Don't Californicate Oregon". Canadian art-rock band the Rheostatics released an album called Whale Music in 1992, with a song called "California Dreamline". In this song, the word Californication appears in the phrase "Californication, spooning in the dry sand".

Kim Walker, head of intellectual property at Pinsent Masons, states that the band should have registered Californication as a trademark. Instead, the only application for such was filed in April 2007 in the US, by Showtime. The mark has not yet been registered. Walker has also stated:

In the United States, character names and titles of works are only subject to trademark protection, not copyright protection.

According to an article on Hollywood news site The Wrap, the lawsuit was settled out of court.


The Season 2 finale drew 615,000 viewers, with a combined total of 937,000 for the evening, retaining less than 50% of its lead-in from the season finale of Dexter. However, Season 3 steadily gained viewership, and the show was quickly picked up for a fourth season by Showtime.

International distribution

  •  " TV Klan
  •  " Network Ten, Eleven, Showcase
  •  " ORF
  •  " Warner Channel, I.Sat
  •  " Channel One (Russia)
  •  " Acht
  •  " Warner Channel / SBT / I-Sat
  • - PINK BH
  •  " HBO, AXN, bTV Comedy
  •  " The Movie Network in (English), Movie Central in (English) / V in (French)
  •  " Warner Channel
  •  " HRT
  •  " ?T1, HBO, HBO HD, AXN, AXN HD
  •  " TV2 Zulu/TV2 Danmark
  •  " TV6, SET
  •  " Nelonen
  •  " M6, Paris Premičre
  •  " AXN, RTL2
  •  " Skai TV
  •  " AXN, HBO
  •  " Skjár Einn
  •  " FX, Zee Café
  • - Seasons 1 and 2 available on UPC On-Demand. Formerly on Channel 6.
  •  " HOT3, HOT3 HD, HOT V.O.D
  •  " Italia 1 / Jimmy
  •  " Fox
  • Kosovo  " Kujtesa
  •  " TV6, SET
  •  " TV3, TV6
  •  " Warner Channel
  •  " Comedy Central, HBO
  •  " TV3
  •  " TV 2 (Norway)
  •  " TVN, TVN HD, HBO, HBO HD, Universal Channel, Comedy Central
  •  " RTP2, FOX
  •  " HBO Romania
  •  " DTV, MTV ("????????? ????"??????), Channel One (Russia) (????"??????)
  •  " FDF
  •  " AXN
  •  " POP TV
  •  " DStv, SABC
  •  " TV4
  •  " RTS Un in (French) / SRG SSR in (French and German)
  •  " ComedyMax
  •  " [[1+1]]
  •  " Not currently on any network
  •  " Warner Channel
  • - DStv

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