Fans of “Silicon Valley” are shaking their heads and trying to imagine the show without bombastic Erlich Bachman in the wake of Thursday’s announcement that T.J. Miller will be exiting the show at the end of the current season.
Miller has played Bachman since the first season, with the character’s suburban bungalow (a.k.a. the Hacker Hostel) serving as a tech “incubator” and home base for the programmers in the HBO comedy.
A curiously worded statement from HBO reveals the decision to exit was a mutual one between Miller and the show’s producers (which includes “Beavis and Butt-head” creator Mike Judge).
“The producers of ‘Silicon Valley’ and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season 5,” reads the statement. “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.”
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the rest of the ensemble cast — Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Amanda Crew, Matt Ross, Jimmy O. Yang and Suzanne Cryer — is expected to return for the recently announced fifth season, set to air in 2018.
Miller, in fact, has been the breakout star of “Silicon Valley”, which has propelled him to supporting big-screen roles in such films as “Deadpool” (he’ll reprise his role in the sequel) and “Office Christmas Party”, and is currently making the rounds promoting the upcoming animated comedy “The Emoji Movie”.
In a recent interview with Business Insider, Miller addressed claims by some tech entrepreneurs who believe that his “Silicon Valley” character is based on them.
“It’s so funny for people to wonder if Erlich Bachman is based on them, because that’s clearly an insult,” said Miller. “He’s kind of the buffoon. He’s really the worst of all of them on the show.”
Miller’s co-star Kumail Nanjiani sent him a shout out via Twitter, admitting he’s “sad to say bye to Erlich Bachman.”
Meanwhile, Miller already has a new project in the can with HBO; his first standup comedy special for the pay cable channel, “Meticulously Ridiculous”, is scheduled to debut on June 17.