‘The Queen’s Gambit’ Becomes Netflix’s Biggest Scripted Limited Series With 62M Checking Chess Drama

Peter White
·2-min read

The Queen’s Gambit has been watched by 62M million households – making it Netflix’s biggest scripted limited series to date, the streaming giant said Monday. The series, which stars Anya Taylor-Joy as rising chess star Beth Harmon, launched on October 23, and is based on Walter Tevis’ novel.

Written by Scott Frank, who also directs, and co-creator with Allan Scott (Don’t Look Now), The Queen’s Gambit chronicles the life of an orphan chess prodigy. Set during the Cold War era, the story follows Harmon, from the age of 8 to 22, as she struggles with addiction in a quest to become the greatest chess player in the world.

Netflix noted that the seven-episode show ranked in its top 10 in 92 countries and No. 1 in 63 countries, including the UK, Argentina, Israel and South Africa.

The success of the drama has evidently lead to a wider interest in chess; Google searches for chess have doubled, chess set inquiries are up 250% on eBay, and the number of new players on Chess.com has increased five fold.

“It’s a true testament to Scott’s skill as a writer and filmmaker that he was able to bring the drama and detail of the many chess matches to life on camera,” said Peter Friedlander Netflix’s VP Original Series. “Scott also had tremendous help from the series’ talented crafts team. Costume designer Gabriele Binder’s exquisite use of checkerboard patterns in Beth’s wardrobe, composer Carlos Rafael Rivera’s suspenseful score, editor Michelle Tesoro’s gripping montages, production designer Uli Hanisch’s vibrant choices that pop off the screen in every scene, and cinematographer Steven Meizler, whose work transformed every match into heart-pounding drama.”

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