Marine Corps lawyers enforce ‘The Code’ in new CBS drama


New CBS series also stars ‘Hamilton’s’ Phillipa Soo


The military-law drama “The Code” premieres Tuesday on CBS.

CBS wisely is using a military-crime drama – one of the most popular series around the world — to help launch another military-crime drama.

Premiering after “NCIS” on Tuesday, April 9, “The Code” revolves around U.S. Marine Corps lawyers and officers in the Judge Advocate Division, where their cases range from treason to murder. Two-time Emmy winner Dana Delany plays the colonel in charge, with Anna Wood (“Reckless”), Luke Mitchell (“Blindspot”), “Hamilton” Tony Award nominee Phillipa Soo, Ato Essandoh (“Chicago Med”) and Raffi Barsoumian (“The Vampire Diaries”) also in the ensemble cast.

Moving to Mondays after it debuts, “The Code” lets Delany use her experience from the military-themed “China Beach” only to a certain degree. “There’s a big difference between the Army and the Marines,” the actress notes, “and they will let you know that. They’re very territorial about their different divisions.

“Also, I played a nurse in ‘China Beach’ and I’m a lawyer in this show … and to me, those are very different functions. A nurse is all about empathy, and a lawyer has to be about strategy. There are a few books by female Marines; I read ‘Hesitation Kills’ by Lt. Jane Blair and ‘Fight Like a Girl’ by Kate Germano, who was a lieutenant colonel in the Marines for 20 years. And one of our writers is the guy who wrote ‘Jarhead,’ Anthony Swofford, so he’s been a great source.”


Dana Delany stars in “The Code,” premiering Tuesday on CBS.

Another reference for Delany in prepping for “The Code” was a woman who had been a judge advocate in California: “She stepped down because she had young kids. To be a woman in this position, and to last as long in it as my character Col. Turnbull has, is something very rare for somebody my age. She would have started when she was in her 20s, and to deal with sexism then and advance through the ranks, she had to be pretty strong.”

Doing her first series since the musical drama “Smash” and Broadway shows that also have included “Amelie” and “The Parisian Woman,” co-star Soo says “The Code” has been “completely fun, challenging and exciting” for her. “A great gift of this experience is that I get to work with some really kind and talented people on a day-to-day basis.”

Though her main commitment now is to “The Code,” Soo has more stage work in mind. “The beauty of being in New York is that I’m surrounded by lots of theater and lots of film and television,” she reasons. “Because of the (TV-making) schedule, I’ve had the opportunity to see more plays than I did when I was working on a play, and I’ve really enjoyed getting to see and admire some amazing work.”


The Code stars might have to flex their acting muscles to prepare for some serious scenes, but they also know how to have fun once the director yells, “Cut!” Watch the series premiere of The Code on Tuesday, Apr. 9 at 9/8c after NCIS on CBS and CBS All Access. Then, starting April 15, catch The Code at its regular time period on Mondays at 9/8c.
Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

jbobbin has 1834 posts and counting.See all posts by jbobbin

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