How Rob Ford inspired CBC's new crime thriller Shoot the Messenger

CBC's new political thriller Shoot the Messenger navigates a tangled web of crime set in Toronto.

Like many political thrillers before it, Shoot the Messenger was shot in Toronto — but this time no one's pretending it's a grittier American city. 

Show creators Sudz Sutherland and Jennifer Holness figure Toronto's got plenty of it's own dirt, especially following the Rob Ford scandal of 2013. They vividly remember when the former Toronto mayor was caught smoking crack cocaine — and while Sutherland and Holness didn't want to recreate the story verbatim, they took elements of it for their new CBC show.

CBC's new TV series Shoot the Messenger is a crime thriller that takes inspiration from the 2013 Rob Ford scandal. (Bria John/CBC)

"We wanted to show Canada and all its rough edges," Sutherland reveals. "The WireThe KillingLuther — that's what's in this show's DNA and we wanted to show our own version of it." 

The show follows a young reporter who witnesses a murder and gets entangled in a web of criminal activity that goes all the way up the ranks of political power. 

WEB EXTRA | Watch an extended trailer of Shoot the Messenger.