A year later, he was hired by the Friends team of Bright/Kaufman/Crane as a staff writer for the Pamela Reed show, Family Album. From there it was just a short hop to selling a few (unproduced) pilots of his own before writing for The Drew Carey Show. And just this year, he was seen on screen in Judy Berlin, as director Eric Mendelsohn's alter-ego in the acclaimed semi-autobiographical debut film, co-starring Edie Falco, the late Madeline Kahn, Bob Dishy and his mom, Barbara.
For 30 Days, Harnick's own first feature as a writer/director, he followed Mendelsohn's lead and wrote a film that was both highly personal and a true ensemble piece. Harnick cast his film with cross-over New York stage and indie film actors, starting with the central character of Jordan played by Ben Shenkman, a youthful veteran of The Roundabout, Playwright's Horizons, and The Public, as well as Darren Aronofsky's indie hit Pi. Jordan also works in his family's business, a liquor store owned by dad (character actor Jerry Adler of Soprano fame, currently on Broadway in Taller Than a Dwarf) and fretted over by mom (Barbara Barrie, returning to the New York stage soon in David Marshall Grant's Current Events). The conflict comes when dad decides to sell the store and retire. One of Jordan's responses is to propose to Sarah (Arija Bareikis, The Last Night of Ballyhoo).
Dealing with the perils of romance, marriage, and finally having to grow up (maybe) are the rest of Jordan's post-slacker New York friends--real New York friends, that is--including kooky weather forecaster Tad (Bradley White, a founding member of Naked Angels); Brad (Thomas McCarthy, The Citizen), who's marrying Lauren (Catherine Kellner, The Iceman Cometh); and Mike (Spin City's Alexander Chaplin), the guy who never does anything right. Cameos include appearances by Drama Desk nominee Julia Murney (MTC's The Wild Party), Blue Light's Greg Naughton, Ballyhoo's Mark Feuerstein, associate producer Hank Unger, and in the role of the sarcastic sister, Harnick's sister Jane.