For close to 20 years, multi-hyphenate Mike Judge has kept the under-25 set in stitches with his takes of less-than types, read affable vulgarians Beavis and Butthead, the hysterical rednecks on Fox’s King of the Hill, as well as know-it-all bosses in Fox’s Office Space; the latter which continues to be a cult sensation 15 years after its release. This April, Judge launched his first live-action TV comedy series, HBO‘s Silicon Valley, and like Office Space, the show provides a close-up of the absurdities of corporate types, but this time it’s the billionaires and computer geniuses who rule Northern Cali’s tech world. The series follows a group of nerdy programmers comprised of Richard (Thomas Middleditch), Erlich (T.J. Miller), Gilfoyle (Martin Starr), Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani) and Jared (Zach Woods) who hatch the idea for an audio-compression technology called Pied Piper, only to see it stolen by the Bill Gates-ian tech lord Gavin Belson. Much like his previous projects, Judge continues to flex his finesse for nuanced, deadpan, grounded, idiosyncratic types with Silicon Valley. Though HBO only aired eight episodes this spring, Silicon Valley is on pre-Emmy nom fire with three TV Critics’ Choice noms for best comedy series, actor (Middleditch) and supporting comedy actor (Christopher Evan Welch). Click through for interview:
EMMYS: Mike Judge On How Viacom-Paramount Merger Influenced ‘Silicon Valley’ & ‘Office Space’s Impact On TGI Fridays
HBO has unveiled a teaser for Silicon Valley, the Mike Judge-helmed half-hour dark comedy set in the Bay Area hotbed where future tech icons like Steve Jobs et al. got their start. T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Zach Woods, Kumail Nanjiani, Martin Starr, Josh Brener, Christopher Evan Welch, and Amanda Crew star in the eight-episode serial which premieres Sunday April 6:
Mike Judge met tech billionaires before setting out to do HBO‘s comedy Silicon Valley “before the big bubble burst when everyone wanted to do animation” and discovered “there’s a sort of a billionaire vibe” and that they fall into two categories: “The Asperger-y Type and the sort of more … uber competitive.”
The dark comedy series is from King Of The Hill’s Judge, producer Scott Rudin and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. The untitled single-camera project — which HBO picked up to series in May — is set in the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. The pilot starred T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Lindsey Broad, Christopher Evan Welch, Amanda Crew, Angela Trimbur, Zach Woods and Kumail Nanjiani. The pickup came two days after the series order for another HBO half-hour pilot, Michael Lannan & Andrew Haigh’s untitled San Francisco project. The Judge show joins HBO’s praised current comedies Girls and Veep.
EXCLUSIVE: HBO’s Silicon Valley-set dark comedy pilot from the King Of The Hill trio of Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky, producer Scott Rudin and 3 Arts has received a series order. The untitled single-camera project is set in the high-tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. The pilot, written by Judge, Altschuler and Krinsky and directed by Judge, starred T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener, Lindsey Broad, Christopher Evan Welch, Amanda Crew, Angela Trimbur, Zach Woods and Kumail Nanjiani. Judge, Altschuler and Krinsky executive produce the series with Rudin and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. The pickup comes on the heels of another HBO half-hour pilot getting a series order, Michael Lannan & Andrew Haigh’s untitled San Francisco project. The Judge show joins HBO’s praised current comedies Girls and Veep.
EXCLUSIVE: Christopher Evan Welch, Amanda Crew, Angela Trimbur, Zach Woods and Kumail Nanjiani are set to co-star in Silicon Valley, HBO’s single-camera dark comedy pilot from the King Of The Hill trio of Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky and producer Scott Rudin. The five join previously cast T.J. Miller, Thomas Middleditch, Josh Brener and Lindsey Broad. Silicon Valley is set in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Welch will play Peter Gregory, an eccentric tech billionaire who is the most successful entrepreneur in Silicon Valley. Crew will play Monica, head of operations for Gregory who is his human touch. Smart and highly competent, by Silicon Valley standards she is downright beautiful. Trimbur will play Langdon, an unemployed publicist with a mountain of debt who has given up any hope of finding a nice rich man of her dreams in LA. Woods will play Jared, a hard-working and enthusiastic young business executive. Nanjiani will play Dinesh, a tech geek resident of Erlich’s (Miller) incubator, Hacker House. Judge, Altschuler and Krinsky executive produce with Rudin and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. Crew, repped by UTA, Play Management in Canada and attorney Neil Meyer, recently wrapped Michael Dowse’s The F-Word and will next …
EXCLUSIVE: HBO has picked up to pilot Silicon Valley, a single-camera dark comedy from King Of The Hill co-creator/executive producer Mike Judge and fellow King Of The Hill executive producers John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. The three wrote the live-action project, which is executive produced by Scott Rudin as part of the overall deal he had at the pay cable network. Silicon Valley is set in the high tech gold rush of modern Silicon Valley, where the people most qualified to succeed are the least capable of handling success. Judge will direct the pilot, which is slated to film in the spring. Judge, Altschuler and Krinsky executive produce with Rudin and 3 Arts’ Michael Rotenberg and Tom Lassally. Following the 2010 end of Fox’s King Of The Hill after 13 seasons, Judge, Altschuler and Krinsky, repped by WME and 3 Arts, worked together on MTV’s revival of Judge’s 1990s animated staple Beavis and Butt-Head. While he has been focused primarily on animation, Judge has ventured into live-action comedy before, including writing and directing the cult 1999 feature Office Space, a live-action adaptation of his animated short.
HBO has ramped up comedy development this year with several green lights, pilots Hello Ladies, which has already been picked up to series, Getting On and Silicon Valley as well as Christopher Guest’s Family Tree, which received a straight to series order.
Ray Richmond is contributing to Deadline’s TCA coverage.
UPDATED: During the MTV Networks session at TCA, MTV EVP and programming head David Janollari announced that the network has renewed for a seventh season its reality series America’s Best Dance Crew, executive produced by American Idol judge Randy Jackson. The network also said it will bring back Fantasy Factory for a fifth season. And NBC’s comedy classic Friends is being picked up by Nick at Nite for nightly run beginning Sept. 6. It kicks off with a 10-hour marathon that night and runs weeknights at 10 thereafter.
After being feted at Comic-Con in San Diego last weekend, it was a smaller and less enthusiastic but equally supportive audience that met Mike Judge this afternoon for a panel promoting the new incarnation of his iconic toon Beavis and Butt-head to MTV beginning Oct. 21. Flanked by MTV Networks and Logo Group president Van Toffler, Judge demonstrated why he may be the most unassuming creator-producer in show business history. Typical was his response to a critic’s query about why he was bringing the series about the perpetually maturity-challenged nerds back now. “Well,” Judge began, “I like doing it. We’d talked about doing another (Beavis and Butt-head) movie over the years. But, you know, ‘King of the Hill’ was done, I thought we had a couple of pretty good characters here, maybe we should do this while we still could. I don’t know, it just felt right.”