Felicity Huffman’s first acting gig after serving time in prison for participating in a nationwide college admissions scandal will be as the owner of a minor-league baseball team in an ABC half-hour comedy series.
The as-yet-untitled show features Huffman as a widow who inherits ownership of a baseball club after her husband dies. She’s also raising a son with Down’s Syndrome (played by Zack Gottsagen, The Peanut Butter Falcon) while trying to learn about running the team and working with the surrounding community in Sacramento.
Huffman’s character is reportedly based on Susan Savage, owner of the Sacramento River Cats, the Triple-A minor league affiliate for the San Francisco Giants. The River Cats were named the minor leagues’ most valuable franchise by Forbes in 2016 and won the 2019 Triple-A championship.
The project has a pilot commitment from ABC, with the network deciding whether to pick up the series based on the quality of that first episode. But getting a series is usually considered a formality when a network has committed to producing a pilot.
ABC and Huffman have previously worked together on three TV series — Sports Night, Desperate Housewives, and American Crime — so it probably shouldn’t be a surprise that the network was a safe landing spot for the actor after her involvement in a college admissions scandal.
Sports Night might be the show from which fans are most familiar with Huffman’s work. On the series created by Aaron Sorkin, Huffman portrayed Dana Whitaker, the executive producer of a fictional nightly sports news program on the Continental Sports Channel (CSC), a network that typically runs third behind ESPN and Fox Sports.
Huffman was part of a scheme in which parents paid college prep counselors a total of nearly $7 million to boost entrance exam scores for admission into top universities. More than 30 parents were charged in the federal case. Huffman paid $15,000 for someone to cheat on the SAT exam and improve her daughter’s score.
She was the first to serve a prison sentence, pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud. Sentenced to 14 days in prison, she served 11 days.