Felicity Huffman Returns to TV in First Major Series Since Scandal

Felicity Huffman has booked a promising role in an upcoming major series: The actress will be a guest star in the next season of Paramount+’s Criminal Minds spinoff Evolution, playing a doctor with deep connections to other lead characters in the franchise.

The role marks the first major network new series opportunity for the Emmy-winning former Desperate Housewives star since her role in a college admissions scandal broke in 2019 (Huffman was previously set to star in a spinoff of The Good Doctor, but last year ABC passed on making it).

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Huffman will play “Dr. Jill Gideon, a brilliant biological psychiatrist, who agrees to help the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit investigate a murderous conspiracy theory. Jill is reluctant to return to the bureau’s elite team given her complicated history with David Rossi (Joe Mantegna) and her dead ex-husband, Jason Gideon (previously played by original series star Mandy Patinkin), but soon realizes her specific skill set could help them uncover another clue to the elusive Gold Star mystery.”

While the role is announced as a guest star part, it’s a character description that suggests Huffman might have a returning future in the series.

Huffman was previously caught paying $15,000 to falsify her daughter’s SAT score and in 2019 was punished with 14 days in prison, a $30,000 fine and 250 hours of community service. She previously told NBC News she is left with “undying shame” about the incident.

“So when [college fixer Rick Singer] slowly started to present the criminal scheme, it seems like — and I know this seems crazy at the time — but that was my only option to give my daughter a future,” she said. “I know hindsight is 20/20 but it felt like I would be a bad mother if I didn’t do it. So, I did it.” Huffman’s community service organizer further told NBC News that the actress came in ready to “do the hard work,” adding, “Felicity Huffman is one of the most beautiful people I’ve met in my lifetime. And I know she has had a hiccup. But it’s not the hiccup — it’s how you come through the hiccup.”

Criminal Minds: Evolution launched in 2022 on Paramount+ and stars Mantegna, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Zach Gilford and Ryan-James Hatanaka, with Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster. It’s the spinoff of Criminal Minds, which ran for 2005 to 2020 on CBS.

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