By Amy Ryan
November 20, 2007 at 10:08 PM EST

“Californication” is kind of a lame pun, but the Red Hot Chili Peppers want to take credit for it anyway. So they’re suing Showtime over the title of the recent drama series that revolved around David Duchovny and Evan Handler and many squirm-inducing sex scenes (yep, for those of you who didn’t watch, there was one such scene that involved both Duchovny and Handler, in a threesome with a woman who… well, you really don’t want me to go there, trust me). Referring to the Peppers’ 1999 album and single, singer Anthony Kiedis issued a statement, explaining, “Californication is the signature CD, video, and song of the band’scareer, and for some TV show to come along and steal our identity isnot right.” (BTW, I loved the coinage by the headline writers at E! Online: “Californilitigation.” Beats the Mary Poppins rip I used for my headline, above.)

Anyhow, in related news, Quaker Oats is suing NBC over its new series Life (lest anyone confuse the Mikey-approved cereal with the quirky cop serial), and God is suing CBS over Numb3rs. (In the network’s defense, a CBS lawyer notes that, when God wrote the fourth book of the Bible, He didn’t bother to replace the “e” in the title with a “3,” so the difference should be obvious to anyone who compares the ancient tale of Jewish refugees in an arid wasteland to the show about Jewish sleuths in Los Angeles.)

Title aside, I’m not sure why Kiedis and Co. are worried that people would confuse an album with a pay-cable series. After all, one is a portrait of a formerly edgy and risqué southern California dude who’s gone soft and sentimental in middle age, while the other…

Never mind, Anthony, I see your point.

What do you think? Do the Chili Peppers have a legitimate beef with Showtime, or should they take the Californication title and give it away, give it away, give it away now?

addCredit(“Kiedis: Gaye Gerard/; Duchovny: Randy Tepper”)

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