Dennis James
Monty Hall (sub)
Kenny Williams
Unsold Pilot for ABC Primetime: 1964
Syndication (Daily): 9/6/1965 – 9/26/1969
Merrill Heatter-Bob Quigley Productions
Four Star Telvision

PDQ was the classic Heatter-Quigley game show where two celebrities go up against one celebrity, and one contestant.


Two teams of two competed in a game of deciphering words & phrases. One team was dubbed "The Home Team" (consisting of two celebrities), and the other was dubbed "The Challengers" (consisting of one celebrity & one contestant). One player from each team was locked in a soundproof booth, while the outside team members were each shown the same word or phrase. On host James' "go" signal, the player in control placed three letters on his/her respective board (one of them being the first), then the isolated partner took as many guesses as he/she wished as to what the word was. Each time a musical tone was heard, an additional letter had to be added. As soon as the isolated partner guessed the correct word/phrase, play went to the opposing team. The object of the game was to guess the word with as very few letters as posslible (if the guessing player guessed the name after the time signal sounded, the team was still charged for the letter that should have been used). The team that used the fewest letters won the round.

There were two formats to PDQ.

Format #1Edit

In this format, teams played for points. The team with the fewest letters showing earned points based on the difference between how many letters used between the teams. If both teams used the same number of letters, it was a draw and nobody scored. Both teams took an equal number of turns, and when a team reached five points or more, the teams switched jobs; they switched back when the other team reached five points. The first team to reach 10 points or more won the game; if the game was won by "The Challengers", the contestant won $100 cash times the difference between the scores.

Format #2Edit

In this format, the team that won the puzzle with the fewest letters won the game right away, in case of a tie, "The Challengers" and the contestant playing on that team won. Each PDQ show included a three game match called the "PDQ Special"; the team to win two games won the match. Contestants in this version played for prizes. A prize was awarded to the contestant just for participating win or lose. Each time "The Challengers" won a game, the contestant won a prize, and when playing the "PDQ Special", winning the match won the contestant from "The Challengers" special prizes.

Bonus GameEdit

Regardless of the outcome of of the game, the contestant played a bonus round in which they had 60 seconds to solve 10 single word puzzles. Each puzzle had just three letters (Ex: FRC - "FORCE") and the contestant had only five seconds on each word to solve them. Each correct answer was worth a $25 (doubled to $50 if the challengers used fewer letters than the home team/scored 10 points first) Spiegel gift certificate win or lose, and solving ten words also won a car.


A Board Game was released by Milton Bradley in 1965.


More ScreenshotsEdit


72px-TV-G icon svg


NBC Studio 1, Burbank, CA


The show was revived as Baffle.


Information on the PDQ home game

YouTube VideoEdit

The full 1964 pilot