American Crime, which will be written, directed and executive-produced by the Oscar winner, tells the story of a group of people whose lives are turned upside down by a racially charged trial. Michael McDonald will also executive-produce.
Huffman will play Barb Skokie, a woman who raised her sons alone in public housing while her ex-husband Russ (Timothy Hutton) was off gambling. Barb continues to harbor resentment at being the only single white woman in the housing project and for the treatment she receives by her neighbors. When her son Matt is murdered, Barb decides to stay close to the investigation to get answers and isn't above giving statements to the press if it will keep the pressure on police to find the killer.
The pilot marks Huffman's return to ABC after her eight-season run as Lynette on Desperate Housewives, which earned her an Emmy for lead actress.