Entourage, Doug Ellin

Claudette Barius/HBO, Marianna Day Massey/ZUMAPress.com

Hollywood is back in business—in both fact and fiction.

The writers are back to work on HBO's Entourage, and Doug Ellin spilled a thing or two on the forthcoming fifth season and beyond at a recent Writers Guild event.

Keep reading for the scoop on what's ahead for Vinnie, Ari and the rest of your favorite Hollywood posse...

Episodes Made to Order:  You may have noticed that while season three ran 20 episodes, season four was just 12. So, what’s on tap for the boys’ fifth go-round? Ellin says they currently intend to produce 12 half-hour eps. But in the event that HBO decides to order more at the last minute, Ellin is up for it, saying they don’t cement storylines or story arcs ahead of time. They just go with the flow: “Each episode is written, we see [how it plays out] and then figure out what would naturally happen next.” Consider Entourage the anti-Lost.

Strike That:  Sure, the show often mimics what goes on in Hollywood, but the writers' tentative plan to satirize the strike has been scrapped. Ellin feels that most people are over the whole debacle and would prefer to deal with different material, so that’s what they’re doing. Sadly, the three-month work stoppage will still make its mark on year five, postponing its scheduled June premiere until September.

Dom and Gloom:  Ellin says Dom (whom Vince had to oust from the crew after he stole that shockingly important Shrek doll) will likely return. Domenick Lombardozzi, the actor who plays Dom, is one of Doug Ellin’s close friends, and Ellin wrote him in intending for Dom to be a permanent fixture of the entourage. Unfortunately, he didn’t anticipate the audience’s negative reaction to the character, which ultimately led to Lombardozzi’s early exit. Ellin has a personal goal to bring Dom back, but this time he’ll have a storyline we can empathize with. Giving him terminal cancer is one idea they're considering.

Did Vince Dump Debi Mazar?  Publicist Shauna’s sporadic appearances on the show are not a sign of Ari-esque troubles ahead. Mazar is considered a series regular, but she isn't in every episode simply because so much of what Shauna does is handled by Mr. Gold. Still, Ellin insists they love having her on whenever possible, and he shares that Mazar appears in three of the four [upcoming] episodes already shot.

Don't Stop Believin':  It’s no surprise that Vince and the boys will be romancing their fair share of females come September. What else is in store for the future? A trek out to Joshua Tree, where something a little, um, trippy goes down. Ellin says he has four more seasons of scandalous behavior in reserve, insisting that Entourage will probably run through year eight. How does he envision the show coming to its final end? “I see all four guys getting shot up in a diner.” Genius.

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