Felicity Huffman Joins Criminal Minds: Evolution After College Scandal | Us Weekly

April 1, 2024

Felicity Huffman Joins Criminal Minds Evolution Cast Following The Good Lawyer Cancelation
Felicity Huffman. Leon Bennett/Getty Images

Felicity Huffman has landed another TV gig after her short-lived stint on The Good Lawyer — and five years after the college admissions scandal cast a shadow on her career.

Huffman, 61, is joining the cast of Criminal Minds: Evolution as Dr. Jill Gideon for the upcoming season of the Paramount+ series, Us Weekly can confirm.

Jill is the ex-wife of the late Jason Gideon (Mandy Patinkin), whom Criminal Minds fans met when the show debuted in 2005. She is described as a brilliant biological psychiatrist who winds up helping the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit investigate a murderous conspiracy theory, according to the streaming service.

Huffman’s character 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. But [she] soon realizes her specific skill set could help them uncover another clue to the elusive Gold Star mystery.

Huffman’s casting announcement comes one year after the actress made her TV comeback with The Good Doctor’s spinoff, The Good Lawyer in March 2023.

At the time, Huffman starred in the backdoor pilot for ABC’s hit medical drama as attorney Janet Stewart alongside Kennedy McMann as young lawyer Joni. Eight months later, TVLine reported that The Good Lawyer was not given a full-season order.

The short-lived show marked Huffman’s return to acting after taking a four-year break following her involvement in the college admissions scandal.

Felicity Huffman Joins Criminal Minds Evolution Cast Following The Good Lawyer Cancelation
Felicity Huffman. Steve Granitz/FilmMagic

The former Desperate Housewives star was arrested in March 2019 for paying $15,000 to improve her daughter Sophia’s SAT scores. She was one of 50 people who were arrested as part of the scandal, which also included Lori Loughlin and her husband, Mossimo Giannulli.

Huffman, who shares daughters Sophia, now 23, and Georgia, now 21, with husband William H. Macy, pleaded guilty to fraud charges in May 2019. She was sentenced to 14 days in prison that September and released in October 2019 after serving 11 days.

The actress was also ordered to pay a $30,000 fine and complete 250 hours of community service for her crimes. Macy, meanwhile, was never charged in connection with the case.

“It’s been hard. Sort of like your old life died and you died with it,” Huffman told The Guardian of the fallout from the scandal in an interview published in February. “I’m lucky enough to have a family and love and means, so I had a place to land.”

Huffman was cast in an ABC baseball comedy in November 2020, but was never picked up. She later landed The Good Doctor spinoff, which didn’t make it past the pilot stage in 2023.

Now, however, it appears her acting is back on track. Huffman made her U.K. stage debut in February in the revival of Taylor Mac’s Hir. In the play, she portrayed Paige, a radical mother to a transgender son.

Next up, is a guest starring role on season 2 of Criminal Minds: Evolution, which is currently in production. Huffman will join series regulars, Mantegna, 76, A.J. Cook, Kirsten Vangsness, Aisha Tyler, Zach Gilford, Ryan-James Hatanaka, Adam Rodriguez and Paget Brewster.

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