- 8 Seasons
Entourage was loosely based on the real-life experiences of the show's co-executive producer, Mark Wahlberg. This exciting series presented a realistic chronicle of a young actor trying to make it big in modern-day tinseltown. Vincent Chase, actor wannabe, brings his childhood friends from their collective hometown, Queens, New York, to Hollywood. With single-minded commitment and faith, they struggle together to help make Vincent's dream a reality. Along the way, they encounter the typical obstacles and characters that make the true Hollywood experience what it is. An HBO comedy-drama series, it premiered on July 18, 2004 and ended on September 11, 2011. Largely written by the show's creator, Doug Ellin, it was a well-received series dealing with the strengths and weaknesses of male friendship. For enhanced realism, the award-winning series usually featured one or two prominent guest stars per episode. The stellar guest star list included actors, producers, directors, musicians, athletes and the occasional porn star. There are several conflicting accounts as to who contrived the idea for the show. Wahlberg recalls his assistant being amused by the prospect of filming Wahlberg and his friends. Others insist that it was Eric Weinstein's idea. Eric, a long-time friend of Wahlberg, was the inspiration for "E", Chase's manager. Donnie Carroll, the inspiration for "Turtle", insists it was his idea for a book that inspired the series. While it may be questionable who conceptualized the original idea for the show, the decision to make Chase's character a sympathetic one was unquestionably wise. The reality of Wahlberg and his entourage's youthful past included violence and criminal activity; Vincent Chase's life is decidedly milder. In the end, the decision to go with a lighter, more fictional account proved to be an effective one. The main character was Vincent Chase, an engaging, young "A" list actor portrayed by Adrian Grenier. Kevin Connolly portrayed Eric "E" Murphy, Vincent's manager. Kevin Dillon, real-life brother of Matt Dillon, played Johnny "Drama" Chase, Vincent's older half-brother, also an actor. Jerry Ferrara played Salvatore "Turtle" Assante, Vincent's assistant and driver. Vincent's wise-cracking, high-pressure agent, Ari Gold, was brilliantly portrayed by Jeremy Piven. The show was nominated for and won a multitude of industry awards throughout its eight season run. Additional characters rounded out the show in either supporting roles or cameos. However, the main thrust of the show was the relationship between Vincent and his dynamic entourage consisting of Johnny "Drama", "E" and "Turtle", his closest allies. Their closeness and friendship were the compelling elements. If, as it was noted, the show had just been about three guys benefiting from the fruits of their friend's success, it would most likely have failed. As it turned out, the successful show was syndicated on regular cable TV and has become a top-selling DVD set.