Season 3 of 'Silicon Valley' was almost completely different

It turns out, “Silicon Valley” season three pivoted in more ways than one.

At the show’s first ever panel at San Diego Comic-Con on Thursday, writer Alec Berg revealed that the season’s storyline was almost entirely different from what viewers saw.

When the newly transplanted CEO of Pied Piper, Jack Barker, steered the team toward a piece of hardware — called “the box” — rather than the compression platform they dreamed of, Richard set a mischievous plan into motion.

Silicon valley boxHBORichard and the guys getting introduced to ‘the box.’
Silicon valley pied piper boxHBOIt’s not exactly what they were hoping for.

He encouraged the guys to appear as though they were working on the box, while readying the compression platform in secret. It’s a covert strategy known across Silicon Valley as skunkworks.

“Originally the plan for the season was that they were going to do the skunkworks thing and that was going to last eight or nine episodes,” Berg said. “We started writing the first episode … and we just got stuck in the mud for three weeks.”

He described the writing team’s endless struggle to make the plot work. Eventually, they trashed the skunkworks plan and decided the CEO would find out about Richard’s scheme. Richard dropped a folder containing details about the plan, which were quickly revealed to Jack.

Richard silicon valley skunkworksHBOAfter the gang came up with an elaborate plan to one-up the new Pied Piper CEO, it all fell apart in moments when Richard tripped over a cord.
Skunkworks silicon valleyHBOAll of their plans were quickly discovered.

“That whole idea of skunkworks blowing up — that was the first good day we had in the writer’s room,” Berg said.

Many twists and turns later, Jack was removed from the CEO chair and Pied Piper pivoted to video compression. While it would have been fun to watch the gang try to keep a secret for longer than — what? — 30 seconds, things are definitely looking up for Pied Piper.

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