EXCLUSIVE: David Duchovny’s newer adventures as Hank Moody on the Showtime series Californication may soon be made available to UK audiences. My sources tell me that Netflix UK & Ireland, as part of a concerted effort to ramp up the SVOD service’s offering of exclusive material to UK audiences, are looking at picking up the first window rights to new seasons of the Showtime comedy series, beginning with the show’s 12 episode fifth season. The first four seasons of the show are currently available on Netflix UK and the series is currently without a first run UK broadcaster after Channel 5 opted not to extend its licensing deal for the series with international distributor CBS Studios International. Representatives of Netflix UK & Ireland did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.
Created by Tom Kapinos, Californication follows fast-living novelist Hank Moody who leaves the literary haunts of New York for the pleasure seeking splendors of LA. He thought he’d have fame, fortune and the love of a good woman, but now his personal life is in shambles, his career is on the brink of self-destruction and he still just can’t stop yielding to every temptation. The comedy series, which is currently airing its sixth season, stars David Duchovny, Natascha McElhone, Madeleine Martin, Evan Handler and Pamela Adlon.
Both Netflix’s CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Content Office Ted Sarandos have previously indicated their intention to secure more first run TV series for Netflix UK, so as to increase the streaming service’s subscriber base, whilst simultaneously decreasing churn. Included in that is Netflix’s global push into original programming, which includes House of Cards, Hemlock Grove, the fourth season of Arrested Development, Orange Is The New Black and the recently announced series Narcos, which will chronicle the life and death of Pablo Escobar.
Netflix UK is already the first-window home to such shows as FX’s It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia, The League and ABC Family’s Melissa & Joey and has also had a lot of success with picking up shows that have been dropped part way through their runs by other broadcasters. That was the approach with SPT’s Breaking Bad, which, after being dropped by Channel 5, was picked up by Netflix who have subsequently aired new episodes from season 3 onwards. Other shows picked up by Netflix in this manner include SPT’s Drop Dead Diva and Damages. My source was clear to stress that the potential pick up of Californication was one of several shows being considered and that any discussions were in the very preliminary stages. That same source also noted that picking up a series with an established fan base was “less of a risk” than launching a new show – which Netflix tried with Melissa & Joey. So UK Californication fans looking for season 5, watch this space….