"X-Files" creator Chris Carter signs a lucrative deal with Fox

Conspiracy theorizing has proved to be lucrative for “X-Files” creator Chris Carter, who just signed a five-year production deal, reportedly worth $25-$30 million, with 20th Century Fox TV. The contract means Carter will remain as executive producer of “The X-Files” for at least two more years and of “Millennium” for at least one more. He will also develop at least one more series for the 1999-2000 season, which is likely to be a sci-fi drama called “Harsh Realm,” based on a comic book about a detective searching for a lost teenager in a “Dungeons and Dragons”-type fantasy world.

Carter has proved a success on the small and big screen — “The X-Files” is Fox’s highest-rated series and the “X-Files” movie has pulled in $83.6 million — so the deal also tethers him to Fox’s film division with a first-look movie deal. Studio executives hope to turn “The X-Files” movie into a franchise that will last beyond the TV series, much as “Star Trek” has continued for Paramount; David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have reportedly agreed to star in a sequel to the film, for possible release in 2000.

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