Sundance Channel will broadcast the Jane Campion miniseries "Top of the Lake" (an international coproduction) next week, and in April will premiere its first ever wholly owned scripted series, "Rectify," created by actor and filmmaker Ray McKinnon. Today, the network announced that it had ordered another scripted drama, "The Descendants" (working title), from writer Aaron Guzikowski ("Contraband" and the upcoming Hugh Jackman feature "Prisoners") and producer Sarah Condon ("Bored to Death").
"The Descendants," which is unrelated to the 2011 Alexander Payne film, is a drama about a sheriff trying to keep his family together while overseeing two communities at odds -- those of the small town in which he grew up and the neighboring Ramapo Mountain Indians. A tragedy and coverup involving the sheriff's wife leads the man to form a dangerous alliance with a member of the tribe. Guzikowski wrote the pilot script, and created the series with Condon. Sundance Channel has ordered a six-episode, one-hour season of "The Descendants."
Sundance Channel's also announced its expanding its scripted programming team, appointing Christian Vesper as Senior Vice President of Scripted Development and Current and Jordan Helman as Director in the same department. The network recently also appointed Nena Rodrigue as Senior Vice President of Original Production and Development.