The Queen’s Gambit is officially one of Netflix’s most successful original shows ever. The series, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy as a young chess prodigy, debuted in October and has been a mainstay in Netflix’s top ten ever since, generating rave reviews. As a result, it has become the streaming service’s most-watched limited series ever.
According to the company, 62 million households watched the show in its first 28 days of release. The news was shared by Netflix on social media. The Witcher, which is currently shooting its second season, remains the service’s biggest debut for an original series overall, bringing in 76 million households in that same timeframe. Netflix also shared some fun facts about the show on social media to go along with the news.
“More fun facts related to The Queen’s Gambit: The series made the Top 10 in 92 countries & ranked #1 in 63 countries. The novel has entered The New York Times bestseller list, 37 years after its release. Google searches for ‘How To Play Chess’ have hit a nine-year peak.”
To that last point, it was recently reported by NPR that sales of chess sets have exploded in recent weeks, largely credited to the release of the hit series. Toy company Spin Master said that its sales of the game have increased by triple digits since The Queen’s Gambit premiered. Netflix VP of original series Peter Friedlander had this to say about the show’s success in a blog post.
“Three years ago when Scott Frank (‘Godless’) first approached us about adapting ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ Walter Tevis’ 1983 book about a young chess prodigy, we felt it was a compelling tale. However, I don’t think any of us could have predicted that ‘The Queen’s Gambit,’ and the extraordinary Anya Taylor-Joy, would become the global phenomena they are today, or our biggest limited scripted series ever.”
The Queen’s Gambit centers on Beth Harmon (Anya Taylor-Joy}, who was abandoned and at a Kentucky orphanage in the late 1950s. She comes to find she has a remarkable talent for chess, in addition to developing an addiction to tranquilizers provided by the state as a sedative for the children. While battling her personal demons, addictions and obsession, Beth transforms into a skilled outcast who is determined to conquer the traditional boundaries established in the male-dominated world of competitive chess. The show currently holds a rare, unblemished 100 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Marielle Heller, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Moses Ingram, Harry Melling and Bill Camp also star in the seven-episode series. Scott Frank is the co-creator, executive producer, writer, director and showrunner. While The Queen’s Gambit is a limited series, one would expect Netflix to try and lock Frank down for his next project, if not more. The company tends to try and keep talent in-house, if they can. Considering the massive hit he just managed to deliver, it’s hard to imagine they would let him take his business elsewhere. You can check out the announcement post from the official Netflix Twitter account.