It’s hard to imagine that the show that put Anya Taylor-Joy on the map and earned Netflix 11 primetime Emmy Awards was considered a very risky project. Queen’s Gambit, the limited series, was one of the company’s biggest Emmy winners to date. But recent reports reveal a different story behind the scenes.
Cindy Holland backed the project
Queen’s Gambit wouldn’t have seen the light of the day if not for Cindy Holland, the former Vice President for Original Content at Netflix. She had pushed for the project despite getting taunts from other high executives. Bela Bajaria and her team in particular would constantly rebuff Holland and her team’s efforts. It was even dubbed “Holland’s Folly”. Many of the insiders were convinced that it was going to misfire.
But instead, it became the most-watched show at that time and contributed to the popularity of Chess. The streamer was the first platform ever to win 11 Emmys for a limited series. Anya won the Golden Globe for Best Actress – Miniseries or Television Film and Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Female Actor in a Miniseries or Television Movie.
Netflix fired Cindy Holland before the show became a hit
Even before the show became a phenomenon, the company fired Cindy from her position in September 2020. Holland had previously brought shows like Stranger Things and Orange Is the New Black to the streamer. Shortly after, Bela Bajaria took her place. Bajaria’s pick Insatiable was a disaster, followed by success with Lupin and Squid Game.
What’s Queen’s Gambit about?
Queen’s Gambit chronicled the life of a young chess prodigy, Beth Harmon in the 1950s and 1960s. It is based on Walter Tavis’s novel of the same name. The show not only shows her rise to the top of the male-dominated world of chess but her battle with addiction and inner conflicts. Logan’s director Scott Frank helmed the award-winning series.
The streamer is currently in the hot waters having lost 200,000 million followers. Moreover, its catalog is shrinking. If the streamer hadn’t taken such risks before because it would be harder pulling subscribers back without the originals.
What do you think of Queen’s Gambit almost to making it our screens? Have you streamed this show yet?