Felicity Huffman scored a comeback role on a TV pilot, one year after leaving prison

Felicity Huffman pleads guilty in college admissions scheme!

People compared Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman’s situations constantly during the Operation Varsity Blues scandal, but their crimes were somewhat different. Felicity’s crimes were limited to scamming her daughters’ SAT exams, whereas Lori and Mossimo scammed the academic system in a bunch of different ways, from falsifying their daughter’s sports careers, to paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to get Olivia into USC. I’ll be honest, both Lori and Felicity sound like terrible mothers and horrible helicopter parents, so they had that in common. But being charged with federal crimes hit Felicity a lot harder than Lori. Felicity immediately sought and received a plea deal. She pleaded guilty last fall, and she got sentenced to 14 days in federal prison. She only served 11 days before being released, and she recently completed all of her community service hours. So now Felicity is ready for a comeback, and she’s found her comeback vehicle:

Felicity Huffman has landed her first project following her involvement in the college admissions scandal. The Oscar winner, 57, is set to headline a new as-yet-untitled ABC half-hour comedy, PEOPLE confirms. According to Deadline, the show, written by Becky Hartman Edwards, is inspired by Susan Savage, the real-life owner of the Sacramento River Cats, a Triple-A baseball team.

“She is honored and grateful to be a part of this project,” a source close to Huffman tells PEOPLE.

The project — which has a pilot production commitment at ABC — stars Huffman as a woman who inherits her husband’s minor-league baseball team after his sudden death, per Deadline. She attempts to navigate her new normal with the help of her son, played by Zack Gottsagen, a baseball lover with Down syndrome.

Huffman, who previously won an Emmy for her work on ABC’s Desperate Housewives, is also set to executive produce the series alongside Edwards and Savage. The news comes after a representative for the actress confirmed to PEOPLE last month that she had completed her full sentence in the college admissions scandal, which included jail time, community service and supervised release.

[From People]

It sounds like an interesting project, and it’s just a pilot… for ABC, which will probably pick it up for a season at least. It’s been a full year since Felicity completed her prison sentence, which is probably by design. My guess is that a crisis manager advised Felicity to do the time and community service quietly, with no drama, and then seek out a wholesome TV project for her “comeback” but only after a year had passed. I’m sure Lori Loughlin got the same advice, but Lori’s not taking that advice – Lori has been attention-seeking this whole damn time. Lori will want to “come back” next month.

Felicity Huffman at the 70th Emmy Awards in Los Angeles

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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26 Responses to “Felicity Huffman scored a comeback role on a TV pilot, one year after leaving prison”

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  1. Sa says:

    One thing I heard pretty early on, and which makes sense to me, is that Felicity Huffman has a better chance at achieving a comeback because her career is a little more varied and primarily based on her skill as an actor. Lori Laughlin’s career, on the other hand, was based on her wholesome image, which is harder to sell as a convicted felon.

    • Eleonor says:

      Felicity Huffman is a good actress, with the right pr she can be back.

    • Becks1 says:

      Both these points make sense to me. The only thing Lori Loughlin was known for, acting-wise, IMO, was still the wholesome Aunt Becky persona (even when she was obviously not playing Aunt Becky anymore). It’s hard to keep pushing that after the fuckery of the past year – the crimes, yes, but also the PR games that seem to have fallen flat, etc.

      Felicity Huffman can actually act and that will make a difference to Hollywood. Does that mean people will watch? Time will tell I guess.

    • jessamine says:

      Yup. Felicity has that Mamet/Sorkin/Broadway/ensemble vibe in both her career and marriage and humility and accountability in the face of her crime. Aunt Becky is … well… Aunt Becky, the personification of Peak Rich White Lady Privilege in 2020. The comparison is so striking because there’s no comparison.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Wasn’t this a Will & Grace storyline? Didn’t Karen Walker inherit a minor league baseball team from her ex-brother-in-law?

  3. LaraK says:

    I have no problem with this.

    Felicity did something very wrong, but seemed humbled by it and took her medicine like a grown up. She owned her mistake.
    Also, I was on the side that called this last year, so not a surprise.

    Lori on the other hand deserves to fade into obscurity. Unfortunately there is a large part of the population that will totally buy her faux-pious bullsh*t and a year from now she will have a book and a good career as a poster child for repentance and other Jesus stuff. I bet Jesus is sick AF of people using His name for this kind of self- aggrandizing crap. But it will work. Because people suck.

    • Chimes@Midnight says:

      I feel the same way. Felicity committed a crime and she only fessed up because she got caught. But she expressed remorse, pled guilty served her sentence and didnt try and make everyone feel sorry for her. So I’m absolutely fine with her and wouldn’t mind seeing her on tv or the big screen again.

  4. Tanguerita says:

    Meanwhile, Mo’nique, a talented comedian and Oscar winner who never went to prison, has been blacklisted by Hollywood for ten years and counting.

    • LaUnicaAngelina says:

      Yep!

    • Angh says:

      Mo’nique is her own worst enemy I think which is a shame because she’s extremely talented.

      • Mumbles says:

        My understanding that a lot of the backlash has to do with the studio trying to get her to do a publicity campaign without additional compensation, and seems to me that’s just a matter of Mo’nique standing up for herself.

        I never met her, there are whispers is that she’s “difficult” but that doesn’t seem to stop a lot of other “difficult” actors from working, many of whom never won an Oscar.

  5. Darla says:

    I think she’s a talented actor, and the other one, not so much. That helps too.

  6. Mely says:

    I won’t be watching her show or any attempt at a comeback. I think about moms like Kelley Williams-Bolar who went to jail for lying about her address to get her kids into a better school district. She was sentenced to 3 years and a fine of $30,000.

    • Rosalee says:

      Rich, privileged white woman does crime..all is forgiven. No surprise we have been aware of the vast disparity in the justice system and in society in general..but, but, she’s a good actress..she was being a helicopter mom…no she facilitated a crime, she said she was guilty, she went to jail for a whole 11 days..there are WOC who are in jail waiting trial who can’t afford bail…but sure she’s a good actress.

    • Jesma says:

      Williams-Bolar had her sentence immediately reduced by a judge to 10 days. Her case was cited by the prosecutors when they asked for 30 days for Felicity. I am against any criminal sanctions for lower income parents seeking a better school for their kids. The fact that the schools are so disparate is criminal. The quality of education for all public school needs to be equal. In regards to Felicity, I’m not a fan of jail for non-violent crimes. I think it should have been a huge fine and community service in an underserved school.

      • Allie says:

        Thank you! Williams-Bolar case gets cited without the proper facts everytime when it comes to Huffman’s sentence. I also agree on non-jail sentences for non-violent crimes – unless the person who committed the crime cannot make up for what they’ve done financially (i.e. in cases of fraud to give people their money back).

        In general, there needs to be a reform of the judicial system. It makes no sense to cry for worse treatment of white offenders. This does not help the ones who are treated unfairly (i.e. people of color) or society in general. Nobody should be stuck in jail before even going to trial because they cannot afford to bail themselves out. Other developed countries only hold people in jail before sentencing in cases of murder (and similar crimes) or when the suspect is likely to disappear.

        Also, just boycotting an artist to make one feel better about themselves is not helpful either. It does not help the person being treated unfairly before and it does not hurt the artist. Instead, vote in any election, especially the local ones. Vote for tax money to be spend on education and crime prevention. Vote for people and corporations actually being taxed! Vote for prisons to be non-privatised. Vote for prison reform. Vote for people who will appoint non-racist judges and prosecutors.

    • Mette says:

      This is simply not true.

  7. lola says:

    Um, people magazine, since when is Felicity Hoffmann an Oscar winner?!

  8. FancyHat says:

    She served her time without complaint, owned up to her mistake. Have zero issues with her resuming her career.

  9. Anna says:

    @FancyHat I think the word “crime” is more applicable here than “mistake”. Thinking about how language is mobilized and used such as in the case of Katrina when it was first noted (and so many other circumstances) where, if it’s a white person, it’s “finding resources” and if it’s Black people, it’s “looting”… She committed a crime. It may have been a mistake to do so but that was in retrospect, once she got caught.

  10. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I think they should only be offered ‘Karen’ roles. Felicity will out-act Lori and everything will be as it should lol.

  11. JEM says:

    This sure is a quick comeback. She did it the right way but her crime was so gross and denied spots to lower income students and students of color. I also still can’t believe that William H Macy never faced criminal charges.

  12. Ann says:

    I hope people remember what she did in a few years come awards season. I foresee her getting an ovation of some kind in the future, similar to Mel Gibson. Let’s hope Felicity remains contrite and that she keeps her current PR.

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I actually don’t see much difference. Two privileged white women exploiting the system. Felicity was smarter about her PR when she got caught, but that’s it.

    And I don’t feel sorry at all for either of them. I feel sorry for the young people whose careers and college spots were stolen by rich assholes.