Even given the bizarre identification angle–the protagonist is an alcoholic blogger (!)–Showtime’s David Duchovny vehicle Californication was a pretty godawful show, unless you were so hard up for softcore that you needed to suffer through 20 minute jags of undercooked family drama. But we assumed, like the rest of Americans moderately familiar with turn of the millennium alt-rock, that the show had either cleared the punny name with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who slapped it on one of their weakest singles in 1999, or that Californication was a commonly used West Coast reference. Apparently neither, because Anthony Keidis’ TiVo (and attorneys) finally caught up with Showtime this week.
The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, dilution of the value of the name and unjust enrichment, claiming the title is “inherently distinctive, famous … and immediately associated in the mind of the consumer” with the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
“Californication is the signature CD, video and song of the band’s career, and for some TV show to come along and steal our identity is not right,” said the band’s lead singer, Anthony Kiedis, in a statement.
The AP had no luck in tracking down Tom Kapinos, the show’s creator, whose only other major credit seems to some writer/producer involvement with Dawson’s Creek. (Did you check the picket lines, guys?) But wait, isn’t “Under The Bridge” the Chili Peppers’ signature song? Maybe a troll should sue them for unfair competition.