HBO’s critically acclaimed tech-world satire Silicon Valley will be returning for a fifth season in 2018 as the network announced its renewal on Thursday. The good news was expected as the show continues to garner positive feedback among the viewers as well as critics with its 21 Primetime Emmy Awards nominations.
“The Emmy®-winning and Golden Globe-nominated SILICON VALLEY takes a comic look at the modern-day epicenter of the high-tech gold rush, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. A collaboration between Mike Judge and Alec Berg, the show concludes its ten-episode fourth season Sunday, June 25 (10:00–10:30 p.m. ET/PT). Series regulars include Thomas Middleditch, T.J. Miller, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Amanda Crew, Matt Ross, Jimmy O. Yang and Suzanne Cryer.”
Casey Bloys, president of HBO Programming, made an announcement which took the Silicon Valley fans by surprise.
“The producers of Silicon Valley and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season 5. In Erlich Bachman, T.J. has brought to life an unforgettable character, and while his presence on the show will be missed, we appreciate his contribution and look forward to future collaborations.”
T.J. Miller, named one of Variety‘s “Top 10 Comics to Watch,” as well as one of Entertainment Weekly‘s “Next Big Things in Comedy,” plays an eccentric entrepreneur/tech incubator/stoner named Erlich Bachman in the two-time-Emmy-winning comedy series. He has been part of the “Always Blue” gang since its debut in April 2014 and won the Critics’ Choice Award for his character. So what might be the reason for this sudden adieu?
Outside of Silicon Valley, T.J. Miller is working on projects including Deadpool 2, How to Train Your Dragon 3, Spielberg’s upcoming adventure film Ready Player One, Kristen Stewart-starring thriller Underwater, and a lead role in The Emoji Movie. Understandably, T.J. Miller’s hectic schedule would result in him not being able to invest the same amount of time leading to his unexpected exit from the series. Rumors of bad blood between T.J. Miller and HBO executive producers were dismissed as HBO will be premiering Miller’s stand-up special in June called T.J. Miller: Meticulously Ridiculous. Yet, Buzzfeed‘s Kate Arthur posted a tweet that raised some concerns regarding his questionable exit.
I heard that he got the finale script and found out his character had been written out. https://t.co/aPci4ySBs2
— Kate Aurthur (@KateAurthur) May 25, 2017
On Twitter, T.J. Miller’s costar in the show, Kumail Nanjiani, who plays a Pakistani character named Dinesh, tweeted about his departure.
Very sad to say bye to Erlich Bachman. @nottjmiller is the funniest guy I've ever met & thrilled to work w him for 4 yrs. Brothers forever.
— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) May 25, 2017
Does it mean that there is a possibility of T.J. Miller returning in the future for some other season? It all depends on how Miller’s exit is scripted in the current season. Bachman’s character is consistently hilarious and loved by Silicon Valley fans, and his exit will leave a gaping hole. Whoever comes next has a lot to fill in.
T.J. Miller is yet to make a public comment regarding his exit from the show while his followers took to social media to announce their disappointment.
Why, HBO. Why TJ Miller. WHY. pic.twitter.com/dBgvdSOhuC
— Sam Sobolewski (@SamSobolewski) May 25, 2017
I have mutually decided that someone must give me the scoop on this TJ Miller situation.
— emily nussbaum (@emilynussbaum) May 25, 2017
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) May 26, 2017
Whether or not there’s more to this story, T.J. Miller has earned the adoration of millions of Silicon Valley fans across the world as Erlich Bachman. Whether it’s his manipulative ways with Big Head or the rest of the Pied Piper team or the ridiculously hilarious chemistry with Jian Yang in this amazing tech comedy, his presence and comedic timing will be sorely missed by his fans. It’s an end of an era, or as Erlich Bachman would say, “the Bachmanity is coming to an end.”
T.J. Miller’s Silicon Valley run will wrap up with the Season 4 finale, airing on June 25.
[Featured Image by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP Images]