P.D.Q. was a fringe-time afternoon game show on NBC. “Fringe-time” means it was scheduled late in the afternoon and not every network affiliate carried it, so in some cities it was syndicated to non-NBC stations. The premise was that you had two teams, and at times they’d be one celebrity and one civilian. One member of each team would go into a little booth while the other member would race against the clock, running back and forth to put letters up on a board that would spell out a word or phrase. The person in the booth would have to guess the word or phrase based on seeing some but not all of the letters, and the team which “got it” in the fewest number of seconds would get the points. It was kind of like someone said, “How can we rip off Password but make it more physical?” Presiding over the game when it aired from 1965 to 1969 was Dennis James, the Iron Horse of TV game show hosting. Not long after it went off, Lin Bolen took command of NBC’s daytime game show lineup and, legend has it, she decided she didn’t want any of her programs hosted by “old men like Dennis James,” the theory being that housewives wanted someone hunkier to look at during the day. When the decision was made in 1973 to revive P.D.Q., it was retitled Baffle and Dick Enberg came in to host.

On the above ticket, one can see many indicators that P.D.Q. had trouble filling its studio audience: The long lead time between when they wanted you there and when they did the show, the door prizes, the low minimum age, etc. An awful lot of people who went to see them tape P.D.Q. probably arrived at NBC that day hoping to see something else.