Entourage Season 1 Pilot Episode
Entourage is a dramedy broadcast on HBO and created by Doug Ellin, that chronicles the rise of Vincent Chase, a young A-list movie star, and his childhood friends from Woodside, Queens, New York City, as they navigate the unfamiliar terrain of Hollywood, California. Mark Wahlberg and Stephen Levinson serve as the show's co-executive producers, and the show's premise is loosely based on Wahlberg's experiences as an up-and-coming movie star.
According to Mark Wahlberg, Entourage was initially conceived when his assistant asked to film him and his friends, calling them "hilarious". Other reports credit Eric Weinstein, a long-time friend of Wahlberg's, with the idea of filming the successful actor's group of friends. In order to be more satirical of the Hollywood lifestyle, a fictional approach was chosen rather than a straight documentary.
Vincent Chase, the show's main character, was envisioned to be more similar to Wahlberg, but it was decided that some of his and his friends' activities (particularly some elements of their criminal past) would not work well on television. A lighter approach was subsequently decided upon.
However, according to Donnie Carroll, who was the inspiration for the Turtle character, the idea for a show involving an actor and his friends had come from him. It had originated as a book idea, centered on Carroll's own life and his experiences with Wahlberg, titled From the 'Hood to Hollywood, A Soldier's Story.
On another note, the creator of the show Doug Ellin has his own story. He claims the idea rose from his own "entourage", which surrounded David Schwimmer. Ellin, Schwimmer, a couple other friends became the basis for the show. Schwimmer became famous overnight with the start of Friends much like Vinny Chase did with his first movie 'Head On'. Movieweb on Oct 26, 2006 wrote, "Ellin is working on the script that he cites several real-life situations as the basis for the pilot; production is set to begin later this year or early next year".