'The Queen’s Gambit' Is Netflix’s Most-Watched Limited Series

Jessica Davis
·2 min read
Photo credit: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX
Photo credit: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX

From Harper's BAZAAR

The Queen’s Gambit is officially Netflix's most-watched limited series of all time in its first 28 days. The new show, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, has been watched by 62 million households since its release on October 23.

The seven-episode series, about a champion chess player, has been a hit all over the world - from Russia and Hong Kong to France, Taiwan and Australia.

The show made the top 10 in 92 counties and ranked top in 63, including the U.K., Argentina Israel and South Africa.

The story follows Beth Harmon (Taylor-Joy), an orphan who is taught how to play chess by her orphanage caretaker, played by Bill Camp.

Despite being haunted by her personal demons and issues with addiction, she rises from strength to strength and later takes on the top male Russian chess champions in the world.

Peter Friedlander, vice president of Netflix, revealed the news and commented on the series’ success in a blog post for Netflix: “Three years ago when Scott Frank first approached us about adapting The Queen’s Gambit—Walter Tevis’s 1983 book about a young chess prodigy—we felt it was a compelling tale. Beth is an underdog who faces addiction, loss and abandonment. Her success—against the odds—speaks to the importance of perseverance, family, and finding, and staying true to, yourself.”

He continued: “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.”

As a result of the show's success, the original novel by Walter Tevis is now on the New York Times bestseller list, 37 years after its release. According to Netflix, Google search queries for "chess" have doubled, while searches for "how to play chess" have hit a nine-year peak. Searches for "chess sets" on eBay are also up 250 percent.

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