Hours after HBO announced that will be renewing Silicon Valley for a fifth season, it was revealed that T.J. Miller won’t be returning to the series to reprise his role as Erlich Bachman.
HBO said in a statement, obtained by Buzzfeed Entertainment:
“The producers of Silicon Valley and T.J. Miller have mutually agreed that T.J. will not return for season five. 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.”
The amicable statement suggests the decision was mutual, but Miller had been silent on why he was leaving the show – until now.
“I would love to do The Emoji Movie and things like that and have the time to develop animated features,” said Miller. “I would like to keep offering up Gorburger and letting people see a very different side of talk show guests.”
The actor said he left for his own sanity, as he has a “myriad of projects” he’s working on.
“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,” he said.
Miller said he did not intend to get into comedy to be a television actor. He said he couldn’t allow himself to “show up and give a B-plus performance on a show that is an A-plus when it comes to television.”
The success of the show moving into season 5 will largely depend on how his character is written out. Bachman’s character played a central role in the series, so media analysts speculate that something major will need to happen in the show to justify him not returning.