Why Was ‘Californication’ Canceled?

Californication ran from 2007 to 2014 and followed Hank Moody (David Duchovny), a New Yorker and novelist struggling with writer’s block. Though Hank moves to California for a fresh perspective, his alcoholism and womanizing continue to dominate his life.

It also drives a wedge between himself, his longtime lover, Karen (Natascha McElhone), and their daughter Becca (Madeleine Martin). The Emmy Award-winning series often focused on sex, drugs, and rock and roll and became one of the Showtime’s network’s staple TV series since it was on for so long. Moreover, characters from the series later appeared in the short-lived Showtime sitcom, White Famous, starring Jay Pharoah and loosely based on Jamie Foxx’s life.

David Duchovny is seen on the set of "Californication"
David Duchovny is seen on the set of “Californication” | Jean Baptiste Lacroix/WireImage

‘Californication’ is more than just a series

Though the series follows the womanizing Hank, Californication is much more than a series. The origins of the word actually stem from the American film and TV industry, largely based in California, blurring the lines between entertainment and reality.

The term was born from this newfound belief that people can just propel themselves on the world stage without any real talent. It’s also a name from a 1999 hit single from the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

In fact, the band sued Showtime Networks over the name of the series. However, Californication stems back to a 1972 TIME magazine article entitled, “The Great Wild Californicated West.”

RELATED: ‘The X-Files’: Which Episode Won David Duchovny a Golden Globe?

David Duchovny wanted ‘Californication’ to end differently

The Emmy winning series would not be what it was without Duchovny. However, The X-Files actor had something else in mind when it came to the final chapter in Hank’s life.

 “I always wanted Hank [Moody] to die,” he told Rolling Stone. “That would have been my way of ending it. Everything had to catch up with him. You can’t drink and smoke like that and get away with it for too long. I wanted it to be complete.”

However, creator Tom Kapinos had other plans. In the end, Californication had a perfectly happy ending with everything wrapped in a little bow. Beth got married, and Hank and Karen were finally making their relationship work.

‘Californication’ was canceled after seven seasons

Like most recent cable shows like Game of Thrones and even The Sopranos, the big bosses at Showtime wanted to pull the plug on the series when it was still riding high, long before it jumped the shark.

Therefore, Showtime decided that the seventh season of the dark comedy series would be its last. In 2013 Deadline reported,

The series is bowing out on top, having steadily grown in the ratings over its run to post its highest-rated season ever in season six, which averaged 2.9 million weekly viewers across platforms. The decision to end Californication after Season 7 was quietly made after season six wrapped. The network brass wanted one more season, made one-year deals with creator/exec producer Tom Kapinos and star/exec producer David Duchovny, and the show’s producers started planning a final act.