Netflix recorded 62 million households watched the show in its first 28 days.

By Nick Romano
November 23, 2020 at 11:48 AM EST
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The Queen's Gambit is making all the right moves for Netflix.

According to the streamer, the series, starring Anya Taylor-Joy as troubled chess prodigy Beth Harmon, has been watched by 62 million households within 28 days of being available to watch on Netflix. That makes it the studio's most-watched scripted limited series ever.

The only caveat is the obvious caveat that always comes with data-tracking points released by Netflix, and it's that the company doesn't count views the same way as an entity like Nielsen does. The "62 million households" for The Queen's Gambit shakes out to 62 million accounts that chose to watch at least two minutes of the show. There may be multiple users within a single account who watched The Queen's Gambit, and there may have been a single account that viewed The Queen's Gambit multiple times in its entirety. But Netflix only records one account view for either of those circumstances for the total tally. Sixty-two million is still nothing to scoff at, though.

Credit: PHIL BRAY/NETFLIX

In other news, sales of chess sets have gone through the roof in light of The Queen's Gambit, according to Goliath Games director of marketing Mary Higbe in an interview with NPR. Elizabeth LoVecchio, vice president of marketing at Spin Master, also told National Public Radio that "our chess sales have increased triple digits." Then there's The Queen's Gambit, the 1983 book from author Walter Tevis, finding itself on The New York Times' best sellers list. Coincidence? Nope.

Netflix's vice president of original series Peter Friedlander commended series co-creator Scott Frank for the achievement in a blog post.

"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 — generating rave reviews and a rare 100 percent on Rotten Tomatoes," Friedlander wrote. "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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