Why T.J. Miller Is Leaving Silicon Valley

silicon valley t.j. miller erlich bachman

Last week had some good news and some bad news for fans of HBO's Silicon Valley. The good news was that the show had officially been renewed and would return for Season 5, and the bad news was that Season 5 would happen without T.J. Miller on board as Erlich Bachman. The decision for Miller to leave HBO was reportedly mutual, but we never got a full story on why he made his choice. Now, Miller has spoken out to explain his reasoning for leaving Silicon Valley, saying this:

I would love to do The Emoji Movie and things like that and have the time to develop animated features. I would like to keep offering up Gorburger and letting people see a very different side of talk show guests. And that was a big part of why I said, 'I've learned everything I can from this show.' I would love to continue to be involved with it, if only because fans really do enjoy the show, and they seem to enjoy the character. But ultimately I just have to make more things and different things. I work so much. I do every single platform. . . . So [I left] for my own sanity, and for the sake of slowing down, and being more present and able to devote more time to this myriad of projects that I have going on. The other thing of it is that I didn't get into comedy to be a television actor, and the second that I felt that there was a possibility of going on autopilot -- of even phoning it in with this particular project -- that's when I say, 'Okay, I gotta walk away. I have to do something where this won't happen. I can't allow myself to show up and give a B-plus performance on a show that is an A-plus when it comes to television.' That is a huge, huge part of it.

T.J. Miller evidently just felt that it was time to move on from Silicon Valley and try new projects that would challenge him in entirely different ways. His comments definitely don't indicate that Miller believed that Silicon Valley was going downhill and wanted to jump ship. If anything, he seems willing to continue his involvement with the show in some way or other. He won't be back as a regular and he has plenty to keep him busy for the foreseeable future, but he also has a solid working relationship with HBO. Miller's big departure from Silicon Valley after Season 4 doesn't necessarily have to be a permanent departure. If he felt like he couldn't keep doing everything at the pace he was, then leaving was undoubtedly the best move he could have made.

His declaration that he needs to walk away hasn't meant that he's no longer a fan of the show. In fact, T.J. Miller went on in his chat with EW to say this about Silicon Valley:

Also, in a weird way, it's interesting to me to leave a show at its height. It's interesting to me to see how the show will grow and change with the exit of this character.

It should be interesting to see how Season 5 unfolds without Erlich Bachman in the fold. A lot may depend on just how Silicon Valley writes the character out. He's such a part of the status quo that it might take something pretty big to justify why he won't be around when the action picks back up. Luckily, the rest of the ensemble is likely to be on hand to help compensate for his absence. Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Breder, Amanda Crew, Matt Ross, Jimmy O. Yang, and Suzanne Cryer are all expected to return.

Season 4 of Silicon Valley isn't over yet, so be sure to sit down on Sundays at 10 p.m. ET to catch the last episodes featuring T.J. Miller as Erlich Bachman. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for the latest in TV news, and don't forget to check out our summer TV premiere schedule to discover all your viewing options now and in the coming weeks. Be sure to drop by our rundowns for cable/streaming and broadcast TV renewals and cancellations as well. If streaming is more your style, our Netflix premiere schedule will help you out.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).