Why The Queen’s Gambit & Period Dramas Are A Streaming Lynchpin

By Kirsten Howard

From The Queen’s Gambit to Vikings and beyond, streaming services can always rely on the popularity of historical drama series.

Outlander (2014-)

Period dramas have been TV’s bread and butter for decades

Band of Brothers (2001)

They started to emerge as must-see TV back in the late 1970s.

I, Claudius (1976)

But they’ve taken on a new lease of life through investment from various streaming services.

Outlander (2014-)

Platforms like Amazon and Netflix are fully aware that they can still draw huge viewing numbers by ploughing money into new period drama projects, and backing the continuation of others.

The Last Kingdom  (2015-)

And they’ve quickly learned that acquiring period dramas that have already been hits on network TV can be worth the investment.

Vikings (2013-)

Historical dramas are also likely to pick up more of the prestigious TV awards, as they’re seen as more serious and therefore worthy of plaudits.

Peaky Blinders (2013-)

Shows like the BBC’s Peaky Blinders and History’s Vikings have found renewed success through streaming.

Peaky Blinders (2013-)

In time, Netflix began to throw big checks at some homegrown period dramas.

The Crown (2016-)

The Crown has been a consistent winner for Netflix.

The lavish drama series chronicles the life of Queen Elizabeth II from the 1940s to modern times, and has just released its fourth season to high acclaim.

Earlier this year, the streaming giant revealed that a whopping 73 million households had already checked out The Crown globally.

Meanwhile, Amazon has found success with its original period drama series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

New chess drama The Queen’s Gambit, led by rising star Anya Taylor-Joy, was the streaming platform’s most popular scripted limited series ever.

Netflix says over 62 million households watched The Queen’s Gambit in its first 28 days of release.

Historical dramas are growing in popularity every year, but while Amazon is looking for the next Game of Thrones in developing its new The Lord of the Rings series…

Lord of the Rings (2001)

…we could soon see Netflix double down on programming for the genre, and even Disney+ might get in on the game, having dipped a toe in the water with this year’s The Right Stuff.