By Mandi Bierly
Updated September 26, 2009 at 02:00 PM EDT

Californication returns to Showtime Sunday (10 p.m. ET) for a new season in which David Duchovny’s Hank is effectively a single dad, and, less effectively, a creative writing professor at a local university. While Karen (Natascha McElhone) is away working in New York, Hank will play with three women in what show creator Tom Kapinos calls an homage to Shampoo: He’ll juggle relationships with a talented twentysomething student/stripper (Saved!‘s Eva Amurri); his level-headed thirtysomething TA (Numb3rs‘ Diane Farr); and the fortysomething chair of the English department (Bridget Jones’s Diary‘s Embeth Davidtz), who happens to be the mother of his daughter’s best friend and the wife of the college’s dean (Peter Gallagher).

Other guests this season include Gossip Girl‘s Ed Westwick, who stops by Hank’s classroom for episode 2. “He’s this gay, creative writing student who has a crush on Hank and he wants to know what Hank thinks of his writing,” Kapinos says. “Hank gives him the brutal truth, as only Hank can, and of course, the kid tries to commit suicide.” Rick Springfield will appear as a twisted version of himself in four episodes, beginning Oct. 11. He’ll become one of Charlie’s clients, as Mr. Runkle (Evan Handler) gets back in the agent business. Charlie and his wife, Marcy (Pamela Adlon), will end up living together in their home as they go through a divorce à la War of the Roses, which inspired our favorite bit of casting: Kathleen Turner plays Charlie’s razor-tongued boss, Sue Collini, who sticks around all season. “It seemed like such a long shot,” Kapinos says of nabbing Turner, “but we went out to her, and literally, the deal closed within a day. Sue’s just this ballsy, sexually free woman who’s still hanging on to the Easy Rider, Raging Bull view of Hollywood. Charlie essentially, in a very pleasant sort of way, ends up sexually harassed by her. There’s nothing evil about it — it’s not Demi Moore in Disclosure or something like that. He just haplessly becomes a victim of sexual harassment.” To quote Sue, “Oh, you can play hard to get all you like Runkle. But Sue Collini always gets the weenie.” That, for the record, is just about the only thing that she says that we can actually quote on this blog. It’s going to be a fun season.

Who’s psyched for the new season now?

Photo credit: Jordin Althaus/Showtime