Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, and Adrian Grenier by Michael Muller/HBO (Small size and HP: Adrian Grenier by Michael Muller/HBO) Jerry Ferrara, Jeremy Piven, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, and Adrian Grenier by Michael Muller/HBO (Small size and HP: Adrian Grenier by Michael Muller/HBO)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen! As Season 4 of the HBO hit Entourage closed, its stars were losing their shine. "Medellín," the posse's passion project about Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, ended in a barrage of boos at the Cannes Film Festival, knocking Vince ( Adrian Grenier) off his axis and a $75 million deal off the table. It was, to say the least, a humbling moment. And for creator Doug Ellin, it was also a bit of a mistake. "We spent more time on 'Medellín' than I would have liked," he says. "It was time to get going on other stuff."

Season 5 opens with the gang standing just left of success, trying to make things right. After hiding out for several months in a Mexican paradise he can't afford, Vince returns to Hollywood to get his career - and his life - back on track. ("I really wanted to deepen Vince, to show people that he actually cares," says Ellin.) But Vinnie faces one major obstacle: How to make it happen. "A lot of actors in this town have been through that moment where if the next [film] doesn't work, they really have issues," Ellin says. "Vince is in that moment now."

Meanwhile, his manager, Eric ( Kevin Connolly), and agent, Ari ( Jeremy Piven), are at a loss on how to seal new deals. Fast-talking Ari will even face some career issues he can't hug out, and Eric will be busy trying to bolster his fledging business with new blood. Expect tensions to rise on Team Vince when, against Ari's advice, E signs a pair of gun-toting scribes - LB (Lukas Haas) and Nick (Giovanni Ribisi) - whose screenplay "Nine Brave Souls" becomes his latest long-shot obsession. "This script will really come into play and be a strong centerpiece of the season," Connolly says. "They're talented guys. And he sees the fact that they're so far on the outside of Hollywood as an opportunity to sort of create and mold these writers and show them the ropes."

As for Vince's big bro, Drama ( Kevin Dillon)? The elder Chase will still be gaga over his pretty French love, Jacqueline (Julia Levy-Boeken), and their romance will have repercussions on his burgeoning TV career - and on the set of his hit series, Five Towns.

But it won't be all doom and gloom for Vince and Co. Vince's fiercely effective publicist, Shauna ( Debi Mazar), will return to get involved in his job hunt. Vince's troublemaking friend Dom (Domenick Lombardozzi) will also be making a comeback. But best of all, expect to see a new, and decidedly less lazy, Turtle ( Jerry Ferrara) as he finally starts asserting himself outside the confines of the crew. If that isn't enough, there will also be a potential love interest for the hip-hop fiend, and a chance that we'll finally learn Turtle's real name. "It's something that Doug and me have joked about," Ferrara says. "But I don't think it's so much about his real name, but where did he get the nickname from? I think that's going to be the big reveal." Either way, we'll be watching. - Janice Rhoshalle Littlejohn