Previously named exec VP and g.m. in 2009, Barnett will remain in charge of programming for the AMC Networks-owned cabler.
Net has a very ambitious 2013 original slate, including its first fully owned scripted series “Rectify” and the Jane Campion-directed “Top of the Lake,” which stars Elisabeth Moss and Holly Hunter.
“Rectify,” created by actor Ray McKinnon (“Deadwood,” “Sons of Anarchy”), examines a former death row inmate who must put his life back together after being released from prison. “Top of the Lake,” which was shot in New Zealand, investigates the murder of a 12-year-old pregnant girl.
As for Barnett’s ascension, AMC’s chief operating officer Ed Carroll said, “Under Sarah’s leadership, Sundance Channel has undergone a successful and dramatic transformation. Sarah has energized and repositioned the network as a dynamic, multiplatform brand that engages audiences with daring and award-winning content.”
Previous to her arriving at Sundance Channel, Barnett was a VP at BBC America.
Sundance made waves with its 2010 project “Carlos” — the winner of the 2011 Golden Globe for top miniseries. On the reality front, “Push Girls” has been a hit for the net and will return for its second season this spring.
At the Television Critics Assn. confab in January, Sundance announced new series “The Writers Room,” which will focus on scribes at work for a handful of top drama and comedy series. No premiere has been set.
Sundance also has a few scripted shows in development, including “The Descendants,” from writer Aaron Guzikowksi and producer Sarah Condon about a sheriff struggling to keep his family together.
There’s also “T,” from “In Treatment” writers Anya Epstein and Dan Futterman, and producers Ira Glass and Alissa Shipp, about a transgender patient who begins life as a man; and “Behind the Sun,” from producers Stanley Tucci, Steve Buscemi and Wren Arthur, and writer Dylan Gary, about a Malibu family that includes a teenager who has an extremely rare allergy to the sun.