Harris stays at 'Mother' ship


"How I Met Your Mother" writer-producer Chris Harris has inked a new overall deal with the show's producer, 20th Century Fox TV.

Under the seven-figure pact, which has an option for a third year, Harris will continue on "Mother," where he serves as a co-exec producer, and also will take first crack at developing his own shows.

"I'm excited to go into a long producing relationship with 20th TV, at least for the next week and a half at which point I hope they don't force majeure me," Harris quipped, referring to the looming writers strike. "I started working here four years ago, and I find it a great place for nurturing fresh ideas and getting them on the air."

Harris was brought to the attention of 20th TV brass four years ago by veteran comedy producer Steve Levitan. At the time, Levitan was exec producing the studios' comedy series "Oliver Beene" and Harris had only one writing credit on his résumé, CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman." Levitan gave Harris his first primetime gig as a staff writer on "Beene" and, impressed with his skills, recommended him to 20th TV executives. The studio signed him to a small overall deal, which led to assignments on "Jake in Progress" and "Stacked." He joined "Mother" right after the pilot as a producer and rose through the ranks to co-exec producer this season.

"We consider Chris one of the success stories for the studio as we made the first deal with him when he didn't have a great deal of experience," 20th TV chairman Gary Newman said. "He exceeded our expectations — he's a key member of the 'How I Met Your Mother' team, he is a fantastic draft writer, fantastic with story, someone who has a unique voice, and we believe we can help him develop his own show during the course of this deal."

Harris is repped by CAA, 3 Arts and attorney Jarred Levine.