The Hollywood Reporter is breaking the news to those of you who didn’t already know: Entourage is ending next year. The long-running show will, however, return for one final hurrah before ending: a shortened eighth and final season. “The plan right now is we’ll finish up this season, we’ll do a shorter order for next season, we’ve talked about six,” said Michael Lombardo, HBO programming president.
The series, which just passed the halfway point of season seven a week ago, has been running since 2004 and stars Adrian Grenier, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Dillon, Jerry Ferrera, and Jeremy Piven.
Six episodes for the season would be four down from season seven’s order of ten, and half of the orders for seasons four, five, and six, all of which had twelve episodes.
Lombardo wanted to make sure there were no doubts about HBO’s plans for Entourage: “Next summer will definitely be the final season.” There’s also been talk of a feature film adaptation, which Lombardo stated that the show’s creator Doug Ellin still wanted to do. “HE wants to write a film, but wants to do it when the story will make sense.”
And even if a film doesn’t work out, Lombardo seemed sure that Ellin would remain with the pay cable network. “He’s pitched other shows to us,” he said, stating that Ellin would probably have another show on HBO “within the next couple years.”
Entourage airs tonight with episode 7.06, “Hair,” which marks the return of recurring character Billy Walsh. Entourage‘s season finale will take place on September 12, with the episode “Lose Yourself.” The show will return in summer 2011 for its eighth and final season.