The Queen's Gambit Sets Netflix Viewing Record for Scripted Limited Series
According to the streaming service, 62 million households watched the series during its first 28 days on the platform
All hail The Queen's Gambit!
Netflix announced Monday that the drama starring Anya Taylor-Joy set a record as the streaming service's most-viewed scripted limited series to date. The seven-episode series began streaming on Oct. 23 and according to Netflix, a record-setting 62 million households chose to watch it during its first 28 days on the streaming platform.
The Queen's Gambit also ranked in Netflix's Top 10 in 92 countries and hit the No. 1 spot in 63 countries, including the U.K., Argentina, Israel and South Africa.
Taylor-Joy, 24, stars in the series as an orphan-turned-chess prodigy addicted to tranquilizers. She reacted to the news on Twitter with three shocked cat emojis.
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The book that inspired the series, 1983's The Queen's Gambit by Walter Tevis, received renewed interest thanks to the Netflix show's popularity. The novel landed on The New York Times bestseller list 37 years after its debut.
And the sport of chess saw a boom, too. According to Netflix, Google searches for "how to play chess" have hit a nine-year peak. Additionally, the number of new players on Chess.com has increased fivefold.
In the show, Beth (Taylor-Joy) takes interest in chess as a young orphan growing up in the '50s and learns how to play from the orphanage's janitor. The Kentucky orphanage feeds all of the girls tranquilizers, and Beth gets addicted from a young age. She'd pop the pills at night and picture a chess game on the ceiling, running through moves in her head.
Beth gets adopted as a teenager and when her mom (Marielle Heller) realizes that her daughter makes money by winning chess tournaments, she encourages Beth to keep playing. The women form a bond as they travel around the country, and then internationally, for Beth to compete. Beth has her sights set on becoming a world champion, but her pill addiction and newfound interest in drinking copious amounts of alcohol hinder her along the way. Luckily, she has a supporter in fellow young chess champ Benny Watts (Thomas Brodie-Sangster).
"I liked his natural and unapologetic just sense of being and sense of self," Brodie-Sangster, 30, told PEOPLE last month of his Queen's Gambit character. "He knew who he was and he knew what he was good at, what he was capable of and he knew what he wasn't good at. And he knew how to implement that appropriately to find his form of success. And he did that wholeheartedly and most of the time arrogantly and was a bit of a narcissist — but I kind of respected him for all that."
The Queen's Gambit is streaming on Netflix.