Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

The Queen's Gambit has already become Netflix's most-watched limited series

Illustration for article titled The Queen's Gambit has already become Netflix's most-watched limited series
Photo: Phil Bray (Netflix

Given how protective Netflix is with its streaming data, it actually feels kinda notable when the platform releases viewing numbers—as opposed to the weekly progress reports for primetime TV, where it’s like, who cares how many people are still watching The Conners? Netflix sent out an official press release announcing something pretty rad about recent streaming numbers: The Queen’s Gambit is already the most-watched Netflix Original limited series in the platform’s history. While the pandemic has distorted our perception of time such that you may think the series was released at least three year-months ago, Scott Frank’s limited series actually only premiered 28 days ago—a full Sandra Bullock rehab stay!

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The series, based on the 1983 novel by Walter Tevis (and sadly not on a true story), stars Anya Taylor-Joy as an obsessive chess prodigy coping with loss and addiction while absolutely dominating a bunch of dudes at their own game. Co-starring Bill Camp, Marielle Heller, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen’s Gambit is Scott Frank’s second limited series for Netflix, following the female-driven western drama Godless. In addition to breaking viewership records for Netflix, the series has put Tevis’ novel on the New York Times’ bestseller list, while Google searches related to chess have increased significantly, and, per a New York Times article, chess board sales are skyrocketing. Here’s more data from Netflix:

On Netflix, a record-setting 62 million households chose to watch The Queen’s Gambit in its first 28 days.

It’s confirmed as the biggest scripted limited series on Netflix to date.

Its global reach is extraordinary - it’s been in the Top 10 in 92 countries - from Russia and Hong Kong, to France, Taiwan and Australia.

And ranked No. 1 in 63 countries, including the UK, Argentina, Israel, and South Africa.