US cable network Sundance Channel has commissioned six-part series The Descendants as its third ever drama.

The broadcaster, owned by AMC Networks, has ordered the drama straight to series as part of its original programming drive that also includes ITV Studios-distributed Rectify and BBC Worldwide-distributed Jane Campion apocalyptic drama Top of the Lake.

The Descendants is written by Prisoners’ Aaron Guzikowski and produced by Sarah Condon, the Bored To Death exec producer that was previously executive vice president of original programming at HBO.

It centres on a sheriff struggling to keep his family together, while policing two neighbouring communities near the Ramapo Mountains and following a cover up involving his wife.

Sarah Barnett, Sundance Channel president and general manager, said: “At Sundance Channel, we are passionately dedicated to the creation of non-formulaic, daring original stories and we are delighted with this outstanding new addition to our scripted slate.”

Separately, the company has promoted two of its key scripted executives as part of this move.

Christian Vesper has been promoted to senior vice president of scripted development and current, while Jordan Helman has been upped to director of scripted development and current.

Both will report to Nena Rodrigue, the Sundance Channel’s recently appointed head of programming and development.