Silicon Valley (TV series)
Season 1 intertitle
|Opening theme||"Stretch Your Face" by Tobacco|
|Country of origin||United States|
|No. of seasons||5|
|No. of episodes||46 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||28–30 minutes|
|Distributor||Warner Bros. Television Distribution|
|Picture format||HDTV (1080i)|
|Original release||April 6, 2014– present|
Silicon Valley is an American comedy television series created by Mike Judge, John Altschuler and Dave Krinsky. The series focuses on five young men who founded a startup company in Silicon Valley. The series premiered on April 6, 2014 on HBO, and the fifth season premiered on March 25, 2018. On April 12, 2018, it was announced that HBO had renewed the series for a sixth season.
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||8||April 6, 2014||June 1, 2014|
|2||10||April 12, 2015||June 14, 2015|
|3||10||April 24, 2016||June 26, 2016|
|4||10||April 23, 2017||June 25, 2017|
|5||8||March 25, 2018||May 13, 2018|
Richard Hendricks creates an app known as Pied Piper which contains a revolutionary data compression algorithm. Peter Gregory acquires Pied Piper, and Richard hires the residents of Erlich Bachman's business incubator including Bertram Gilfoyle and Dinesh Chugtai along with Jared Dunn, who defected from Hooli. Meanwhile, Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti chooses to accept a substantial promotion at Hooli instead, despite his lack of merit for the job.
Gavin Belson instructs his Hooli employees to reverse engineer Pied Piper's algorithm and develops a copycat product called Nucleus. Both companies are scheduled to present at TechCrunch Disrupt. Pied Piper rushes to produce a feature-rich cloud storage platform based on their compression technology. At the TechCrunch event, Belson presents Nucleus, which is integrated with all of Hooli's services and has compression performance equal to Pied Piper. However, Richard has a new idea and spends the entire night coding. The next morning, Richard makes Pied Piper's final presentation and demonstrates a product that strongly outperforms Nucleus and he is mobbed by eager investors.
In the immediate aftermath of their TechCrunch Disrupt victory, multiple venture capital firms offer to finance Pied Piper's Series A round. Peter Gregory has died and is replaced by Laurie Bream to run Raviga Capital. Richard finds out that Hooli is suing Pied Piper for copyright infringement, claiming that Richard developed Pied Piper's compression algorithm on Hooli time using company equipment. As a result, Raviga and all the other VC firms retract their offer. Richard turns down Hooli's buyout and accepts funding from Russ Hanneman, though Richard quickly begins questioning his decision after learning about Hanneman's mercurial reputation and his excessive interference in day-to-day operation.
Belson promotes Big Head to Hooli [xyz], to make people think he created the compression algorithm and Richard stole it to create Pied Piper. Belson agrees to drop the lawsuit in favor of binding arbitration to prevent the press from finding out about how bad Nucleus is. Due to a clause in Richard's Hooli contract, the lawsuit is ruled in Pied Piper's favor. Raviga buys out Hanneman's stake in Pied Piper, securing three of Pied Piper's five board seats. However, they decide to remove Richard from the CEO position due to previous incidents.
After a failed stint with Jack Barker as CEO of Pied Piper, Richard eventually regains his CEO position. Richard hires contract engineers from around the world to help construct their application platform. Big Head receives a $20 million severance package from Hooli in exchange for non-disclosure and non-disparagement agreements. Big Head uses his money to set up his own incubator and Erlich partners with him. However, because of their spending habits, they declare bankruptcy, and Erlich is forced to sell his stake in Pied Piper to repay the debts. Gavin Belson hires Jack Barker as the new head of development at Hooli.
After release, their platform is positively reviewed by members of the industry. However, only a small fraction of the people installing the platform remain as daily active users. Meanwhile, Jared secretly employs a click farm in Bangladesh to artificially inflate usage statistics. An anxious Richard reveals the source of the uptick at a Series B funding signing meeting, leading to the deal being scrapped. Laurie no longer wishes for Raviga to be associated with Pied Piper and moves to sell majority control to any investor. Erlich and Big Head are able to buy control of the company after an unexpected windfall from the sale of a blog they bought. Pied Piper now prepares to pivot again, this time to become a video chat company, based on the sudden popularity of Dinesh's video chat application which he included on the platform.
Richard steps down as CEO of Pied Piper, and instead begins working on a new project: a decentralized, peer-to-peer internet, that would be powered by a network of cell phones without any firewalls, viruses and government regulations. Gavin Belson is removed as CEO of Hooli after an incident involving COPPA violations from when he seized PiperChat. Jack Barker takes his place as CEO. Gavin leaves Palo Alto and goes to Tibet.
Laurie and Monica form their own VC company, Bream/Hall. Big Head becomes a lecturer at Stanford University's Department of Computer Science. Erlich gets into business with Keenan Feldspar, whose VR headset is the Valley's latest sensation. However, Erlich is left out of a signing deal and is abandoned by Feldspar, leaving Erlich disillusioned. Erlich then goes to Tibet to meet with Gavin. While Gavin eventually returns home, Erlich stays.
Richard gets into business with FGI, an insurance company, who uses Pied Piper for their data storage needs. After a crisis involving FGI's data storage, the team discovers that the decentralized internet is a working concept after the data from their Pied Piper server had backed itself up to Jian-Yang's smart refrigerator, as Gilfoyle used some of the Pied Piper code when he was trying to hack it, which in turn connected itself to a network of other refrigerators like it and distributing the data. Gavin offers a very generous acquisition deal to Richard, who turns it down and decides to be funded by Bream/Hall.
In the fifth season, the Pied Piper team gets new offices and hires a large team of coders to help work on Richard's new internet. Meanwhile, Jian-Yang tries to prove Erlich is dead so he can become the owner of all his former property, including the idea incubator and the 10% share of Pied Piper. Richard promotes Jared to be the new chief operating officer for Pied Piper, and Jian-Yang goes to China to build a rip-off of Pied Piper.
Bream/Hall forces Richard to team up with Eklow, an AI team, and Pied Piper puts together a group of developers. After an issue with the AI, Richard loses his development deal with Eklow, and instead he decides to use Gilfoyle's idea to create a cryptocurrency for Pied Piper. After Monica figures out that Laurie plans to make Richard sell ads for his decentralized internet, she leaves Bream/Hall and joins Pied Piper.
After unimpressive results to their cryptocurrencies, Pied Piper is distraught when Laurie teams up with a wealthy Chinese manufacturer named Yao, who originally was helping Belson steal Jian-Yang's Pied Piper patent, but instead used it for his own plans. Yao and Laurie add users to Pied Piper's network via a large number of phones, and prepare for a 51% Attack against Pied Piper. Richard asks Belson to put the software onto his Signature Box 3 in order to stop Yao and Laurie, and Belson does so, but betrays Richard by instead teaming up with Laurie and Yao to delete Pied Piper. Instead, one of the developers that previously left Pied Piper, returned at the last second with the users for a new video game that stops the 51% Attack, and Pied Piper can release their decentralized internet in peace. Meanwhile, it occurred that Hooli spent too much funds in order to launch the unsuccessful Signature Box 3, consequently the board of directors plans to sell the company to his concurrents Amazon and Jeff Bezos, to the great displeasure of Belson.
- Thomas Middleditch as Richard Hendricks, a college dropout and ex-coder at tech company Hooli, Richard quits his job to pursue his compression application Pied Piper. The company initially starts out as a simple data compression platform, but when this, and a videochat that Dinesh created with the algorithm fails, Richard pivots toward creating a new, decentralized internet, called PiperNet. For the most part, Richard is shy and weak-willed, and does not have much of a temper, but when he finally reaches his limit, is prone to intimidating explosions of anger. Richard is constantly struggling with the demands of the business world, preferring instead to disappear into the coding of his application, but realizes that as CEO he must do more. Throughout most of the series, Richard is determined to make Pied Piper a company different from the dreary Hooli and the condescending, aloof Gavin Belson, but as the series progresses, it becomes clear that the many trials and tribulations of trying to get his business to succeed have made him cynical, narcissistic and unappeasable, in much the same vein as the man he once sought to distinguish himself from. This is exemplified in the season 5 premiere, wherein Richard uses Gavin's tactic of spending large amounts of company money and resources to bankrupt two weaker, recently merged companies, not just to acquire their coders, but primarily to get petty vengeance on the two CEOs, who had tried to out do him. Richard has also grown more aggressive and outspoken towards his friends, even insulting Gilfoyle without fear. However, Richard has also grown more competent and prideful in business by season 5, effectively using Gavin's ego to stall his 51% attack on Pied Piper and gain back 51% of the company, allowing Richard to finally release PiperNet the way he wants it without more interference.
- T.J. Miller as Erlich Bachman (seasons 1–4), an arrogant entrepreneur who founded an innovation incubator in his home after the purchase of his airfare collator Aviato. Erlich still holds on to his glory days in the valley, wearing Aviato t-shirts and driving a Ford Escape adorned with Aviato logos. Under the incubator agreement, Erlich owns 10% of Pied Piper, and is later appointed to the company's board of directors after Richard realizes how important Erlich is to the business. While he is typically indifferent to his incubees, Erlich acts friendly with the Pied Piper team, giving nicknames like "Ritchie" to Richard and "Gilf" to Gilfoyle. Erlich is a frequent user of marijuana. It is revealed in the season 2 finale that Erlich no longer codes because of severe carpal tunnel syndrome. Despite being relatively unsuccessful in his own entrepreneurial ventures, he is a charismatic public speaker and negotiator, and is often seen as the "face" of Pied Piper. In season 4 he appears to have a less active role in Pied Piper and his unfortunate destiny begins to foreshadow. After a disastrous attempt to make an agreement with Keenan Feldspar, a VR genius that turned back to Hooli, he definitively decided that he and Richard won't have a successful future within the tech business. Disillusioned, at the end of season 4 he travels to Tibet after misreading an invitation Gavin Belson sent to Richard. Gavin later abandons him at an opium-den after finding out about the Hooli-con scandal. Erlich is now missing and presumed dead, leaving Jian-Yang to inherit his house by faking Erlich's death using the ashes of a dead pig.
- Josh Brener as Nelson "Big Head" Bighetti, a former tenant of Erlich's incubator and Richard's best friend who also works at Hooli. He is unintelligent and naïve, but still manages to acquire significant influence as a result of the struggle between Hooli and Pied Piper. After work on Pied Piper commences, Big Head is offered a huge raise and promotion by Gavin Belson to help Hooli develop its copycat software, Nucleus, out of spite and because Richard was forced to limit his staff. He is continually promoted so rapidly that buzz develops about him, and he ends up on the cover of Wired magazine. He is later removed from the Nucleus project due to his lack of technical knowledge, and has absolutely no responsibilities at Hooli. He was later promoted further to make it appear that he was the actual creator of Pied Piper while working at Hooli, but he is unaware of this. After a disastrous binding arbitration with Pied Piper, Gavin makes Big Head redundant and pays him $20 million in severance, which he blows through very quickly when Erlich tricks him into entering into a business arrangement with him, naming their firm, "Bachmanity". Big Head then buys a majority stake in PiperChat following the sale of a technology blog he and Erlich owned. Due to his poor business skills, his father takes over control of his share on his behalf. In season 4, Big Head takes a position as a Computer Science instructor at Stanford University. In season 5, after discovering that he never formally severed his arrangement with Erlich, Big Head is legally Erlich's next-of-kin and gains ownership of Erlich's house and 10% ownership of Pied Piper from Jian-Yang. Big Head moves into Erlich's house but keeps in touch with Jian-Yang, allowing him to move back into the house after Jian-Yang loses everything in China.
- Martin Starr as Bertram Gilfoyle, a LaVeyan Satanist network engineer and Canadian illegal immigrant, until he successfully applies for a visa after Dinesh puts him under pressure. Gilfoyle credits himself as an online security expert, and as such is responsible for system administration and server configuration at Pied Piper. Gilfoyle has a girlfriend Tara who is also a LeVeyan Satanist, with the two having an open and long-standing relationship, though Tara still lies to Gilfoyle about sleeping with other men. Gilfoyle often plays mocking pranks on Dinesh, but the two do appear to be friends or at most, frenemies despite this, with the two often bonding over their shared moral ambiguity. While he is usually indifferent to Richard and lacks loyalty towards him, Gilfoyle highly respects Richard as a coder and admits that Pied Piper is nothing without Richard. By season 5, Gilfoyle has grown comfortable around Richard to casually call him "Dick" for short. Like Dinesh, Gilfoyle is quick-witted and merciless, but in contrast, highly apathetic, sardonic and brutally honest. He acts as the systems architect of Pied Piper. Gilfoyle is very confident in his abilities and has proven his worth to the Pied Piper team on multiple occasions, such as building the server farm "Anton", to save the company the struggle of paying for generic, mediocre servers in an office space. Due to this, Gilfoyle takes great pride in his security tech, becoming very nervous and confused whenever his tech is compromised, as exemplified in season 5, when after Gavin's mole in Pied Piper, Jeff, gains knowledge of Gilfoyle's smart fridge network from a drunken Dinesh and leaks the information, Gilfoyle barges into the house, then controlled by Jian-Yang, and strips every bit of his technology to discover the source of the leak, denying that his tech security was compromised, eventually learning that Seppan illegally records their customers' conversations and Jared uses this to save Pied Piper from being sued. Even when Richard learned he had the chance to let Gilfoyle take total blame for the Seppan disaster, saving Pied Piper from potentially having to pay $10 million in damages, Richard's respect and loyalty to Gilfoyle lead to him refusing to throw his friend under the bus. While usually calm and collected, it is revealed in season 5 that Gilfoyle is afraid of Artificial Intelligence taking over humanity one day. Gilfoyle has also grown slightly less confident and more deferential to Richard and Monica but is still freely dismissive of Dinesh and Jared. In season 5, Gilfoyle is promoted to senior management along with Dinesh with the title of "Chief Systems Architect".
- Kumail Nanjiani as Dinesh Chugtai, a talented programmer specializing in Java originally from Karachi, Pakistan who is typically the victim of Gilfoyle's embarrassing games and pranks. Dinesh exhibits a quick-witted and merciless temperament towards everyone on the team, and often behaves in a deceitful and unhelpful manner, such as when he plots the death of a man who was dating the girl that he liked. Dinesh is also shown to be especially materialistic and uncomfortable with women. Dinesh always seems to run into bad luck, such as getting involved with cyber criminals to opportunities for recognition. Like Gilfoyle, Dinesh usually lacks loyalty to Richard, exemplified in season 4, when Dinesh was briefly CEO of PiperChat, he refused to give Richard algorithm usage data in exchange for use of the algorithm as promised. Dinesh has proven that when given the opportunity or a small stream of good luck, he is more than willing to ditch his friends. However, Richard keeps Dinesh on account that despite his disloyal acts, Dinesh is still very good at what he does. In season 5, Dinesh is promoted to senior management along with Gilfoyle and gains an obsession with being the "top Tesla driver" in the company.
- Christopher Evan Welch as Peter Gregory (season 1), the billionaire founder and CEO of Raviga Capital as well a 5% equity owner of Pied Piper after his $200,000 investment. Gregory is extremely intelligent, but socially awkward, eccentric and fastidious, once delaying a crisis business meeting to sample Burger King products for eight hours in order to identify a potential new investment. Welch died after the fifth episode of season 1 was completed, but the character remained present off-screen for the remainder of the season. Gregory later died in the season 2 premiere. Monica is saddened by Gregory's death and still highly reveres him, becoming very disappointed whenever the values Gregory believed in and instilled in the Valley are dishonored, notably by Laurie Bream's profit-motivated approach to business.
- Amanda Crew as Monica Hall, an employee of Raviga Capital and associate partner under both Peter Gregory and later Laurie Bream. Monica is often charged with engaging with clients on a more personable and approachable way than either Gregory or Bream are, and as such forms a close friendship with Richard after she convinces him to launch Pied Piper on his own. Her interactions with Richard subtly imply a mutual romantic attachment which, though rarely explored, is often a deciding factor whenever major decisions arise, such as Richard's decision to go with Raviga over Hooli, Monica's persistence in keeping Pied Piper on board whenever Laurie considers dropping them and, later in the series, Monica's willingness to side with Richard at the cost of losing favour with Laurie. In season 4, she leaves Raviga to partner with Laurie at her new VC firm, Bream/Hall. By season 5, Monica's relationship with Richard has become strictly professional and business-like, presumably having realized that her previously on and off relationship with him has led to her getting badly burnt in her career. She and Richard eventually clash over this when he asks her "as a friend" for advice on Gilfoyle's ICO idea, pointing out how little he actually knows about her beyond work, revealing as an example the fact that she was married briefly, but had it annulled after three months. In the same conversation, she demonstrates a newfound competency and authority, such that she is able to silence Gilfoyle and educate him on the real risks that an ICO carries. However, upon learning that Laurie wants to pump PiperNet with ads, effectively destroying Richard's vision, Monica once again sides with Richard and tips him off about it, leading to the two reconciling and reaffirming their friendship. Having also realised that she is still as much Laurie's subordinate as she ever was at Raviga, Monica finally severs all business ties with her, and moves to Pied Piper as its new CFO.
- Zach Woods as Donald "Jared" Dunn, an ex-VP of Hooli who quits the company in order to join the Pied Piper team as its CFO and business advisor. Like Richard, Jared is anxious and vulnerable, but gains confidence as the series progresses and the company's success necessitates it. Jared is a graduate of Vassar College and provides the business skills that the largely engineering-oriented team lacks, which Gilfoyle admits is very helpful due to their disdain for the business side of startups, providing business strategies to the team such as scrum and SWOT analysis. He is also exceedingly optimistic, kind-hearted and staunchly loyal to Richard, sacrificing his high-paying and financially secure job at Hooli to lend his business expertise to Pied Piper. His birth name is Donald, but his former boss, Gavin, once referred to him as Jared, and the nickname stuck, despite the Pied Piper team knowing it's not his real name. He is frequently roasted by the other employees of Pied Piper, aside from Richard who often protects him, though he tends to be oblivious of this or too uptight to actually understand the insult. Jared is usually depicted as the most empathetic person on the team, given most of the team's moral ambiguity. Over the course of the series, Jared drops bits and pieces of his considerably dark backstory, such as being the product of a forced adoption to finding his biological father in the Ozarks. In season 5, after saving Gilfoyle from taking full blame for the Seppan crisis, Richard, realizing his devotion and hard-work to Pied Piper, promotes Jared to COO.
- Matt Ross as Gavin Belson (recurring season 1, starring season 2–present), the CEO and founder of tech giant Hooli, who embodies the soulless corporate culture that Richard is desperate to avoid with Pied Piper. Belson constantly spews forth pseudo-philosophical rants to his employees, who remain enamored with his work, but at the same time demonstrates complete ignorance and a mean spirit. In season 2, Belson launched a lawsuit against Pied Piper, claiming that it was developed on Hooli company time and using company resources. Historically Belson and Peter Gregory were friends but later became business rivals, and interactions between the two of them became awkward as a result. Gavin's hubris and vindictive streak is often the root cause of many of Hooli's problems, such as the failure of Nucleus, the constant slew of PR disasters and his decision to take over PiperChat with no due diligence, which causes his temporary eviction from the CEO of Hooli in season 4. He gets back to his function at the end of the season, firing the new CEO Jack Barker. In season 5, despite knowing of Richard's plans for his new internet, Gavin intends to push the sale of Hooli's Box 3. He later learns that Jian-Yang has recreated Richard's new internet and tries to acquire it, only to be cheated out of the patent by one of his factory heads Yao. Gavin later learns that due to his failure to launch the Box 3 and gain profits, the board at Hooli votes to sell the company to Amazon and Jeff Bezos. Gavin is later offered a 20% stake in Laurie and Yao's YaoNet project by allowing YaoNet users to be absorbed into Hooli to gain 51% of Pied Piper and delete it. However, Richard uses Gavin's ego to trick Gavin into accepting "ownership" of Pied Piper, stalling the deletion of Pied Piper and allowing Richard to regain control and bar Hooli from entering Pied Piper again, leaving Gavin to a final defeat.
- Suzanne Cryer as Laurie Bream (season 2–present), the replacement for Peter Gregory as CEO of Raviga Capital, and later co-founder of Bream Hall Capital with Monica. Like her predecessor, Laurie is highly intelligent and socially inept, but appears to rely more on tangible metrics than Peter. Further, unlike him, she is completely devoid of empathy, emotion or any kind of idealism, concerning herself only with making a profit. This leads to her terminating Raviga's investment into Pied Piper after Belson's lawsuit is announced, firing Richard as CEO due to several mistakes that were not his fault, and unilaterally selling Pied Piper when its reputation is severely damaged after Jared's deceptive practices. This is most exemplified in season 5, when Richard gifts her with free computing credits for Pied Piper out of compassion when he saw her struggling to run a failing company, she remorselessly takes them for profit. Little is known about her personal life, but in Season 4 she is pregnant with her fourth child. Despite her difficulty with connecting with people, Laurie claims that Monica is her best friend. However, in season 5, when Monica becomes disillusioned after learning that Laurie planned to force Pied Piper to sell ads from their Series B deal, which would destroy Richard's vision, and realising that she is a partner in name only, Monica severs business ties with Laurie and joins Pied Piper, and Laurie is completely unfazed by her departure. Laurie later partners with one of Gavin's former employees Yao, to lauch a 51% attack on Pied Piper to delete PiperNet and replace it with a corporate-controlled knock off of Jian-Yang's, called "YaoNet", offering Gavin a 20% stake in the venture. However, Richard succeeds in saving his company and prevents Laurie from locking the deal.
- Jimmy O. Yang as Jian-Yang (recurring season 1, starring season 2–present), another tenant of Erlich's incubator, and the only person who lives there that is not involved with Pied Piper in any capacity. Erlich usually acts as though he is meant to guide Jian Yang to greatness, calling him "Young Jian-athan". He speaks broken English but slowly and with a heavy Chinese accent. He and Erlich have frequent disagreements, and during Season 3, Episode 2, after finding out how difficult it is for a landowner to evict a tenant, Jian-Yang decides to take advantage of this and live rent-free in Erlich's house for a year. Jian-Yang often insults and makes prank calls to Erlich, and takes a sadistic enjoyment in tormenting him. Jian-Yang also has a low opinion of his fellow incubees, calling Gilfoyle, "racist and a witch" and calling Richard "ugly". However, Jian Yang seems to get along fine with Dinesh and Big Head. In Season 5, he takes advantage of Erlich being missing in Tibet by claiming him to be deceased in order to assume ownership of the incubator and Erlich’s 10% stake in Pied Piper, kicking the Pied Piper team out of the house and replacing them with his Chinese friends. He later plans to copy the best American tech companies for the Chinese market. Learning that Big Head is Erlich's legal next-of-kin and losing ownership of Erlich's assets, Jian-Yang moves back to China to create "New Pied Piper", but is found on the brink of bankruptcy by Gavin Belson, ashamed over betraying and abandoning his friends and good life in the valley to fail in China. Gavin discovers Jian-Yang has recreated and modified Richard's new internet project that it is not restricted by Richard's patent and offers Jian-Yang a substantial amount of money to acquire his project. Jian-Yang later signs over his project to Yao and becomes addicted to gambling. When the 51% attack on Pied Piper is discovered, Gilfoyle demands Jian-Yang talk about his deal. Refusing at first, Jian-Yang consents after losing the rest of his money gambling and requests in return for his disclosure, Jian-Yang is allowed to move back into the house, occupying Erlich's old room.
- Stephen Tobolowsky as Jack Barker a.k.a Action Jack (recurring season 3, starring season 4), briefly the CEO of Pied Piper after Richard was voted out. Later he becomes involved with Hooli on their Endframe Box, though is later demoted by Gavin. Subsequently, he became CEO of Hooli after Gavin Belson was fired, but was shortly removed after he was held hostage by Hooli plant workers in China. While in function, he tries to reach Belson's communication skills during Holli Con presentation and makes a calmless entry before his talk, copying the former director of Microsoft Steve Ballmer's prestation.
- Chris Diamantopoulos as Russ Hanneman (recurring season 2–3, starring season 4, guest season 5), a brash, loud and fiery billionaire investor who provides Pied Piper with their Series A. In the fourth-season premiere, he agrees to fund Richard's 'new internet' project. Richard ultimately does not go with this funding offer, choosing instead to partner with Gavin Belson. Furious, Hanneman urinates in Jian-Yang's Corvette, believing it to be Richard's. Hanneman is later found broke due to putting all of his money into 36 ICOs, with only one of them being successful but losing the thumb drive containing the coin.
- Aly Mawji as Aly Dutta/Naveen Dutt (seasons 1–3), a Hooli coder who bullies Richard and Big Head. He is charged with working on Nucleus as a lead engineer.
- Brian Tiechnell as Jason Winter (seasons 1–3), a Hooli programmer who bullies Richard and Big Head. He is also charged with working on Nucleus as a lead engineer. He along with Aly quits Hooli after being fed up with Gavin's antics.
- Jill E. Alexander as Patrice (seasons 1–3, 5), a Hooli employee. She is fired by Gavin after showing distaste towards his animal abuse.
- Andy Daly as Dr. Crawford, a Silicon Valley doctor whom Richard regularly sees.
- Ben Feldman as Ron LaFlamme, Pied Piper's young, laid-back but competent outside counsel.
- Gabriel Tigerman as Gary Irving (seasons 1–3), the human resources manager at Hooli.
- Bernard White as Denpok, Gavin's sycophantic spiritual advisor.
- Matt McCoy as Pete Monahan (seasons 2–4), a disgraced former lawyer who represents Richard, Erlich and Pied Piper at the binding arbitration of the Hooli lawsuit.
- Jake Broder as Dan Melcher (seasons 1, 4), a former TechCrunch Judge who is kicked out after he beats up Bachman for sleeping with his wife. He later returns in season four as the CTO of an insurance company.
- Alice Wetterlund as Carla Walton (seasons 2–3), a programmer and friend of Gilfoyle and Dinesh's who joins the Pied Piper team. She later quits along with the other new hires after the failures with Homicide and Intersite. She later blackmails Pied Piper to pay her in exchange for non-disclosure of Pied Piper's "Skunkworks" plan but refusing to return to the team.
- Chris Williams as Hoover (season 3–present), head of security at Hooli. He admires Gavin Belson and is determined to make each of his requests, though Gavin often disregards him.
- Annie Sertich as C.J. Cantwell (season 3), a tech blogger. Erlich Bachman buys her blog after she is coerced into revealing Big Head was her source. Later the blog is bought out by Gavin himself after she hears about Gavin's illegal dumping of an elephant in the San Francisco Bay.
- Haley Joel Osment as Keenan Feldspar (season 4), the developer of a VR headset who tries to buy out Pied Piper. When Richard rejects the deal, he signs with Hooli.
- Tim Chiou as Ed Chen (season 4), a venture capitalist that works at Raviga who currently serves as the firm's Managing Director.
- Emily Chang appears as herself, interviewing various characters.
Co-creator and executive producer Mike Judge had worked in a Silicon Valley startup early in his career. In 1987 he was a programmer at Parallax, a company with about 40 employees. Judge disliked the company's culture and his colleagues ("The people I met were like Stepford Wives. They were true believers in something and I don't know what it was") and quit after less than three months, but the experience gave him the background to later create a show about the region's people and companies. He recollects also how startup companies pitched to him to make a Flash-based animation in the past as material for the first episode: "It was one person after another going, 'In two years, you will not own a TV set!' I had a meeting that was like a gathering of acolytes around a cult leader. 'Has he met Bill?' 'Oh, I'm the VP and I only get to see Bill once a month.' And then another guy chimed in, 'For 10 minutes, but the 10 minutes is amazing!'"
Christopher Evan Welch, who played billionaire Peter Gregory, died in December 2013 of lung cancer, having finished his scenes for the first five episodes. The production team decided against recasting the role and reshooting his scenes; on his death, Judge commented: "The brilliance of Chris' performance is irreplaceable, and inspired us in our writing of the series." He went on to say, "The entire ordeal was heartbreaking. But we are incredibly grateful to have worked with him in the brief time we had together. Our show and our lives are vastly richer for his having been in them." In the eighth episode of season 1, a memoriam is made in his honor at the end of the credits roll. The character of Peter Gregory was not killed off until the premiere of Season 2.
The show refers to a metric in comparing the compression rates of applications called the Weissman score, which did not exist before the show's run. It was created by Stanford Professor Tsachy Weissman and graduate student Vinith Misra at the request of the show's producers.
Clay Tarver was named co-showrunner in April 2017 alongside Mike Judge and Alec Berg, also serving as an executive producer. In May 2017, it was announced that T.J. Miller would be exiting the series after the fourth season.
|1||94% (53 reviews)||84 (36 reviews)|
|2||100% (19 reviews)||86 (9 reviews)|
|3||100% (17 reviews)||90 (15 reviews)|
|4||97% (31 reviews)||85 (10 reviews)|
|5||86% (21 reviews)||73 (5 reviews)|
Silicon Valley has received critical acclaim since its premiere. Metacritic, a website that gathers critics' reviews, presents the first season with an 84 out of 100 Metascore based on 36 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". Similarly, Rotten Tomatoes presented the first season with a 94% "Certified Fresh" rating and an average score of 7.94 out of 10 based on 53 reviews, with the critical consensus "Silicon Valley is a relevant, often hilarious take on contemporary technology and the geeks who create it that benefits from co-creator Mike Judge's real-life experience in the industry."
Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter said "HBO finds its best and funniest full-on comedy in years with this Mike Judge creation, and it may even tap into that most elusive thing, a wide audience." Matt Roush of TV Guide said "The deft, resonant satire that helped make Judge's Office Space a cult hit takes on farcical new dimension in Silicon Valley, which introduces a socially maladroit posse of computer misfits every bit the comic equal of The Big Bang Theory's science nerds." Todd VanDerWerff of The A.V. Club said "It feels weirdly like a tech-world Entourage—and that's meant as more of a compliment than it seems." Brian Tallarico of RogerEbert.com praised the jokes of the series but commented on the slow progression of the character development in the first two episodes and the reliance on common stereotypes in technology, including "the nerd who can't even look at a girl much less talk to her or touch her, the young businessman who literally shakes when faced with career potential." He goes on to state that the lack of depth to the characters creates "this odd push and pull; I want the show to be more realistic but I don't care about these characters enough when it chooses to be so."
David Auerbach of Slate stated that the show did not go far enough to be called risky or a biting commentary of the tech industry. "Because I'm a software engineer, Silicon Valley might portray me with my pants up to my armpits, nerdily and nasally complaining that Thomas' compression algorithm is impossible or that nine times F in hexadecimal is 87, not 'fleventy five' (as Erlich says), but I would forgive such slips in a second if the show were funny." Auerbach claimed that he used to work for Google, and that his wife also worked for them at the time of the review.
The second season received critical acclaim, and has a score of 86 out of 100 based on nine reviews from Metacritic. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season received a 100% rating with an average rating of 8.3 out of 10 based on 19 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Silicon Valley re-ups its comedy quotient with an episode that smooths out the rough edges left behind by the loss of a beloved cast member."
Its third season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, the season has a score of 90 out of 100 based on 15 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". On Rotten Tomatoes, the season received a 100% rating with an average rating of 8.5 out of 10 based on 17 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Silicon Valley's satirical take on the follies of the tech industry is sharper than ever in this very funny third season."
The fourth season received critical acclaim. On Metacritic, the season has a score of 85 out of 100 based on 10 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim". On Rotten Tomatoes, the season received a 97% rating with an average rating of 8 out of 10 based on 31 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Silicon Valley's fourth season advances the veteran comedy's overall arc while adding enough new wrinkles -- and delivering more than enough laughs -- to stay fresh."
The fifth season received generally positive reviews from critics. On Metacritic, the season has a score of 73 out of 100 based on 5 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season received a 86% rating with an average rating of 7.08 out of 10 based on 21 reviews. The site's consensus reads, "Five seasons in, Silicon Valley finds a new way to up the ante with tighter, less predictable plots, while still maintaining its clever brand of comedic commentary."
Elon Musk, after viewing the first episode of the show, said: "None of those characters were software engineers. Software engineers are more helpful, thoughtful, and smarter. They're weird, but not in the same way. I was just having a meeting with my information security team, and they're great but they're pretty weird—one used to be a dude, one's super small, one's hyper-smart—that's actually what it is. [...] I really feel like Mike Judge has never been to Burning Man, which is Silicon Valley [...] If you haven't been, you just don't get it. You could take the craziest L.A. party and multiply it by a thousand, and it doesn't even get close to what's in Silicon Valley. The show didn't have any of that."
In response to Musk's comments, actor T.J. Miller, who plays Erlich on the show, pointed out that "if the billionaire power players don’t get the joke, it’s because they’re not comfortable being satirized... I’m sorry, but you could tell everything was true. You guys do have bike meetings, motherfucker.” Other software engineers who also attended the same premiere stated that they felt like they were watching their "reflection".
In January 2017, in an audience interaction by Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, Gates recounted the episode in Silicon Valley where the main protagonists try to pitch their product to different venture capitalists reminding him of his own experiences.
In conference talks, Douglas Crockford has called Silicon Valley "the best show ever made about programming". He goes on to cite the episode "Bachmanity Insanity" to illustrate the absurdity of the tabs versus spaces argument.
|2014||SXSW Audience Award||Episodic||Mike Judge||Won|
|4th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Thomas Middleditch||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||Christopher Evan Welch||Nominated|
|66th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Mike Judge for "Minimum Viable Product"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Alec Berg for "Optimal Tip-to-Tip Efficiency"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary Program (Half-Hour or Less)||Richard Toyon (production designer), L.J. Houdyshell (art director) and Cynthia Slagter (set decorator) for "Articles of Incorporation"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Main Title Design||Garson Yu (creative director) and Mehmet Kizilay (designer/lead animator)||Nominated|
|2015||72nd Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|67th Writers Guild of America Awards||Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|19th Satellite Awards||Best Musical or Comedy Series||Nominated|
|Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series||Thomas Middleditch||Nominated|
|67th Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series||Mike Judge for "Minimum Viable Product"||Nominated|
|5th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Won|
|Best Actor in a Comedy Series||Thomas Middleditch||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||T.J. Miller||Won|
|1st Golden Maple Awards||Best Actress in a TV Series Broadcast in the U.S.||Amanda Crew||Won|
|67th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Mike Judge for "Sand Hill Shuffle"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Alec Berg for "Two Days of the Condor"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series||Brian Merken for "Two Days of the Condor"||Won|
|Tim Roche for "Sand Hill Shuffle"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Art Direction for a Contemporary Program (Half hour or less)||Richard Toyon (production designer), L.J. Houdyshell (art director) and Jenny Mueller (set decorator) for "Sand Hill Shuffle"||Won|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half-Hour) and Animation||Ben Patrick (production mixer), Elmo Ponsdomenech (re-recording Mixer) and Todd Beckett (re-recording mixer) for "Server Space"||Nominated|
|2016||73rd Golden Globe Awards||Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|68th Directors Guild of America Awards||Outstanding Directing – Comedy Series||Mike Judge for "Binding Arbitration"||Nominated|
|20th Satellite Awards||Best Musical or Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Won|
|Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series||Thomas Middleditch||Nominated|
|68th Writers Guild of America Awards||Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|Episodic Comedy||Clay Tarver for "Sand Hill Shuffle"||Won|
|2nd Golden Maple Awards||Best Actress in a TV Series Broadcast in the U.S.||Amanda Crew||Nominated|
|Newcomer of the Year in a TV Series Broadcast in the U.S.||Amanda Crew||Won|
|68th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series||Thomas Middelditch for "The Empty Chair"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Mike Judge for "Founder Friendly"||Nominated|
|Alec Berg for "Daily Active Users"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Dan O'Keefe for "Founder Friendly"||Nominated|
|Alec Berg for "The Uptick"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half Hour or Less)||Richard Toyon (production designer), Oana Bogdan (art director) and Jennifer Mueller (set decorator) for "Two in the Box", "Bachmanity Insanity" and "Daily Active Users"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series||Tim Roche for "Daily Active Users"||Nominated|
|Brian Merken for "The Uptick"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half Hour) and Animation||Todd Becket (re-recording mixer), Elmo Ponsdomenech (re-recording mixer) and Ben Patrick (production mixer) for "Bachmanity Insanity"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series||Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera Hallman and Leslie Woo||Nominated|
|7th Critics' Choice Television Awards||Best Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series||T.J. Miller||Nominated|
|Television Critics Association Awards||Outstanding Achievement in Comedy||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|2017||21st Satellite Awards||Best Musical or Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Won|
|Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy Series||Thomas Middleditch||Nominated|
|69th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Nominated|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Jamie Babbit for "Intellectual Property"||Nominated|
|Mike Judge for "Server Error"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Alec Berg for "Success Failure"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series||Jeanne McCarthy, Nicole Abellera Hallman, Leslie Woo||Nominated|
|Outstanding Cinematography for a Single-Camera Series (Half-Hour)||Tim Suhrstedt for "Success Failure"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing for a Comedy Series||Brian Merken for "Server Error"||Nominated|
|Tim Roche for "Success Failure"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Production Design for a Narrative Program (Half Hour or Less)||Richard Toyon (production designer), Jaclyn Hauser (art director), Jennifer Mueller (set decorator) for "Success Failure", "Terms of Service", "Hooli-Con"||Nominated|
|Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Comedy or Drama Series (Half Hour) or Animation||Elmo Ponsdomenech (re-recording mixer), Todd Beckett (re-recording mixer), Ben Patrick (production mixer) for "Intellectual Property"||Nominated|
|2018||70th Primetime Emmy Awards||Outstanding Comedy Series||Silicon Valley||Pending|
|Outstanding Directing for a Comedy Series||Mike Judge for "Initial Coin Offering"||Pending|
|Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series||Alec Berg for "Fifty-One Percent"||Pending|
The complete first season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on March 31, 2015; bonus features include audio commentaries and behind-the-scenes featurettes. The second season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 19, 2016; bonus features include six audio commentaries, a behind-the-scenes featurette, and deleted scenes. The third season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on April 11, 2017; bonus features include deleted scenes. The fourth season was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 12, 2017; bonus features include deleted scenes.
In Australia, the series premiered on April 9, 2014, and aired on The Comedy Channel. In the United Kingdom, it premiered on July 16, 2014, and aired on Sky Atlantic, while also being available on internet view-on-demand services such as Blinkbox. In New Zealand, the series airs on Sky, on the SoHo channel. In India, the series is available for streaming on Hotstar.
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