'Silicon Valley' Showrunner Mike Judge: "We're Going to Break the Rules This Season"

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From left: Zach Woods, Mike Judge and Martin Starr

At the show's season-four premiere in Austin, the co-creator promises some sex and "internal conflicts" at fictional Pied Piper as he hopes for two more cycles of the HBO comedy: “I kind of look at it like the alcoholics, just not one day at a time, but one season at a time."

Fans of HBO’s Emmy-winning comedy series Silicon Valley can expect a raucous and rule-breaking season four when the show returns April 23, according to co-creator and executive producer Mike Judge.

“There’s a little bit of violence,” Judge told THR at the premiere of the fourth season in Austin, Texas, on April 18. “I know we’re a show with no sex or violence but we’re going to break the rules a little bit this season.”

“There’s also going to be some sex, and neither participant is a horse this time,” Judge said, referencing the shocking scene in season three when Richard Hendricks (Thomas Middleditch) — the brains behind the show’s fictional start-up Pied Piper — approached his new CEO Jack Barker (Stephen Tobolowsky) as Barker was breeding horses.

Although he didn’t divulge many details on the upcoming season of the hit show, which follows a group of programmers, developers and entrepreneurs trying to break through in the eponymous tech world of Silicon Valley, Judge did say the characters “make some strides.” That doesn’t mean they’ll necessarily succeed in their endeavors, however.

“If they suddenly succeed and they’re all billionaires, you might not care about them as much,” the showrunner explained, adding, “If they’re complaining about something you might just go, ‘Oh, you’re a billionaire, stop complaining.’ But at the same time we can’t keep kicking them down every episode.”

Castmembers Zach Woods and Martin Starr — who play Jared and Gilfoyle, respectively — joined Judge at the event, which previewed the first two episodes of the season and was followed by a panel discussion with the trio. Co-sponsored by HBO and Alamo Drafthouse, the event was simulcast in more than 16 Alamo Drafthouse theaters across the country.

Starr, whose character is the sardonic systems architect of Pied Piper, gave his two cents on the new season as well. Calling it “Silicon Valley: Civil War,” he explained, “This season is more about the internal conflicts that come up inside the company, as opposed to in the years past, [when] we would be battling external forces.”

He also promised one of the show’s long-running gags will continue: namely, Gilfoyle’s constant belittling and pranking of fellow team member Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani). “I get to be a dick continually to Dinesh, so that’s always fun,” he said.

Although their characters may not always get along, Woods says the cast’s relationship on set couldn’t be more different. “When it’s a lot of young comedy guys, it can kind of be a sort of feral environment,” he joked. “But everyone’s really kind to each other, it’s not competitive. People pitch each other jokes. It’s nice to be with other people that are equally delicate flowers.”

As for the future of the show, Judge said this season lays the groundwork for the rest of the series, which he said he’d like to see get two more seasons, although he hasn’t necessarily planned them out yet.

“I kind of look at it like the alcoholics, just not one day at a time, but one season at a time,” he said, adding, “I think it’s going to go five [seasons] from what I hear, maybe six. It seems to be six is the way people go nowadays, so that would be nice.”

A collaboration between Judge and Alec Berg, the show returns for its 10-episode fourth season Sunday, April 23.

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