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'Queen's Gambit', 'Mandalorian' and 'Undoing' top list of Thanksgiving must-binge TV

Alexandra Canal
·3-min read

Turkey and stuffing isn’t the only thing Americans will be “binging” this holiday weekend.

As movie theaters remain largely empty with coronavirus cases spiking across the U.S. — not to mention the plethora of blockbusters that were delayed to 2021 and 2022 as a result — Americans are searching for alternative forms of entertainment.

Streamers and on-demand platforms are hoping to capitalize on the increased demand — and, so far, it seems to be working.

According to ReelGood, a streaming hub app that hosts over 300 services in one location, Netflix’s breakout series “The Queen’s Gambit” (NFLX) was the number one pick heading into the long weekend.

62 million member accounts tuned in to watch the show in the first 28 days, according to Netflix, making it the most popular scripted limited series yet for the platform.

(Source: Reelgood)
(Source: Reelgood)

As a caveat, Netflix counts a viewer as someone who has watched at least 2 minutes of a particular piece of content — quite different compared to traditional TV standards — but there’s still no denying the magnitude of the series.

Google searches for “how to play chess” have hit a nine-year high, while chess board sales continue to skyrocket across a variety of e-commerce sites and companies.

“Our October sales for chess were up 178% over the same period last year...[but now] our chess sales are up 1,048%," Mary Higbe, director of marketing at Goliath Games, told NPR last week.

Netflix added that the show made the Top 10 in 92 countries and ranked No. 1 in 63 countries, including the U.K., Argentina, Israel and South Africa.

“The Queen’s Gambit” was followed by Disney+’s “The Mandalorian” (DIS), HBO’s “The Undoing” (T), Paramount’s “Yellowstone” (VIAC), and Netflix’s other bingeable watch “The Crown,” according to ReelGood.

Comedy shows to binge

Pop TV’s “Schitt’s Creek” dominated the 2020 Primetime Emmy Awards, after sweeping the comedy categories — and it’s the perfect show to take the edge off of 2020’s misfortunes.

Pop TV, a small network owned by ViacomCBS, began airing the series back in 2015, but it was quite a slow burn before it got widespread recognition.

Only recently did the show surge in popularity, after some of its past seasons began airing on Netflix. Currently, all six seasons are available on the streamer.

Meanwhile, Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” (AAPL) is gaining traction with critics after making its debut this past summer.

“The Hollywood Reporter” called the sports comedy “big-hearted” as viewers grasp for a sense of escapism amid current pandemic realities.

(Source: Reelgood)
(Source: Reelgood)

And viewership for Thanksgiving and Christmas-themed titles surged this past week as Americans begin to embrace the holidays, according to Reelgood.

“Elf” was the most popular holiday title on the platform, followed by “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” “A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving,” “Home Alone” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.”

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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