A bit of sad news coming from the Mount Olympus of TV comedy today: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Armando Iannucci, showrunner of HBO’s Veep, is quitting the show. Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ President Selina Meyer and her heartless stable of supporting characters return for season four this Sunday, April 12, but Iannucci will bow out as soon as the new set of episodes is finished. Although a fifth season isn’t yet official, HBO has announced that David Mandel will replace Iannucci. But before you reach for that pitchfork hanging on your wall in the event of political upheaval behind the scenes of an acclaimed comedy show, be aware that Mandel is a Curb Your Enthusiasm executive producer, writer, and director.
Iannucci has hinted for some time that he may leave Veep before its end. In December 2013, he told Radio Times, “I want Veep to carry on, but there will come a point when I want to move on to something else.” He’s even revealed what one of those “something else” projects will be: a comedy film about Joseph Stalin. As for how smooth a transition from Iannucci to Mandel might be, Louis-Dreyfus worked with Mandel on Seinfeld for three years, so we have to think there’s a bit of chemistry there. He’s also been involved with The Simpsons and Saturday Night Live, meaning that as fun as it may be to shake our fists in unrestrained anger, it might be worth remaining calm for now. Sorry for the false alarm.