Canadian series have been making their mark on American television; the season finale of Shoot The Messenger airs April 13 on WGN America. But the series aired first on Canada's CBC network. Its heroine is Daisy Channing (Elyse Levesque), a reporter who finds herself in a massive web of crime and political corruption, and attempts to bring the system down. Will exposure on US airwaves be enough to score the series a second season? Unfortunately, it appears that a Season 2 of Shoot The Messenger is unlikely at best.
For starters, it's been over a year since the series initially aired in Canada. The show finished its first season in December of 2016, per Deadline, and in the year hiatus between that finale and its premiere on WGN America, it seems that the show has been dropped by the CBC. Canadian television website Tv, Eh? reported that Shoot The Messenger was among many programs canceled at the end of the 2016-17 television season. This, however, begs the question – why did this series make the jump to American television if it had been reported as canceled almost a year earlier? The show may have reached an end, but could renewed American interest bring the series back to life?
The series follows the unraveling of a conspiracy, and the heroes of the story get closer and closer to their goal with each passing episode. But the finale may leave a few dangling threads of story unresolved. After all, Shoot The Messenger is not a miniseries, and it seems to have been intended for the story to be told over the course of other seasons. While the series may have found some new fans through its WGN America broadcast, the decision to renew the show will ultimately be up to CBC. A second season would then make its way from Canada to America, much like the first season.
Shoot The Messenger is so Canadian that former guest stars on the program included Jamaal Magloire of The Toronto Raptors and Ed Roberston of Canadian alt-rock darlings The Barenaked Ladies. In fact, the series itself was loosely inspired by a real political scandal involving former Toronto mayor Rob Ford. In an interview with Global News, co-creator Sudz Sutherland said, "It’s not the Rob Ford story, but we were all inspired by that and I thought that unmasked a lot of what was going on behind the scenes of the city [of Toronto.]" Being as specific to Canada as it is, it'd be unlikely for an American network pick up and produce the series on its own.
Unfortunately, it seems that Shoot The Messenger will not continue past its first season unless CBC decides to reverse its decision to cancel. And while the absence of this Canadian political thriller may leave a hole in the hearts of some American viewers, there are still plenty of programs on the air that provide a glimpse into what life is like for America's neighbors to the north. WGN America's other imports Bellevue and Pure also bring Canadian flavor to American airwaves without forcing fans to cross the border.
Shoot The Messenger may not be coming back, but it's unlikely that WGN America picking the series up would've made a huge difference anyway considering how long the wait was for the series' American premiere. So though the series is probably canceled for good, this most recent airing at least gave viewers in the states a chance to see a hidden gem of Canadian television. Besides, is it not better to love a television series and see it get canceled than to have never loved a television series at all?