The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes – RADIO

In honor of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930).

The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was an old-time radio show which aired in the USA from October 2, 1939 to July 7, 1947. Originally, the show starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Dr. Watson. Together, they starred in 220 episodes which aired weekly on Mondays from 8:30 to 9:00pm. Bromo Quinine sponsored some of the earlier programs on the NBC Blue Network and for a period Parker Pen was the sponsor. The show first aired on the Blue Network but later moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System.

Basil Rathbone’s last episode as the famous detective was “The Singular Affair of the Baconian Cipher.” He was eager to separate himself from the cast type of Holmes, and even though the show’s sponsor Petri Wine offered him generous pay to continue, he decided to move on. Once he did, the sponsor did as well, and Tom Conway took the starring role, though Nigel Bruce got top billing and was always announced first. The new sponsor was Kreml Hair Tonic for Men, and the new series only lasted 39 episodes.

With Rathbone and Bruce, the show exhibited an interesting introduction. The sponsor’s spokesman would show up weekly at Dr. Watson’s house (then retired and living in California), and share a story about Sherlock Holmes and his adventures over a glass of Petri wine. This offered them the chance to sometimes bring in other characters to contribute to the story, and also gave Watson a chance to summarize or add additional tidbits at the end. Another interesting thing about this radio shows introductions was Watson’s anecdotes and comments about his dogs usually referred to as the “Puppies”. (Old Radio World)

Starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce




“The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes”


“Murder By Midnight”


“The Missing Bloodstain”

“Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.”  – Arthur Conan Doyle

11 thoughts

  1. This is beyond wonderful Aurora. I knew that the show existed, but I knew nothing at all about it. Now I do! 🙂 I love having these and all the links too. They make our summer road trips a whole lit more fun….thank you!

  2. This is great. I knew the show existed, but I didn’t know all of this. I love these, and thank you too, for the links. These will come in handy on all those long road trips this summer! How fun, and what a great honor for Doyle. (love the quote at the end). Thank you Aurora!

    1. SOOOO nice to see you here! Miss your commentaries! Anyway, this stuff really is such fun so I’m glad they’re useful to you on your road trips!


      1. Sorry about the dual comments Aurora. I tried it on the iPad, and didn’t think it went through, so did it on the computer too. 😦 I’m gonna die trying to get all this to work! Ugh!

    1. Thanks for stopping in, Cindy. I can take credit for none of your learning in this case because that information is directy from the Old Radio site I noted. I thought whoever stopped in would find it useful so I’m glad you did.


  3. Yeah Aurora, radio seems to be a lost art. Thank-you for mentioning this. I always loved Nigel Bruce and his wonderful voice. I loved him in the Bette Davis movie: The Corn Is Green. He played Squire in that film. Just seeing Davis manipulate him in this film is pure fun. I just loved listening to her say the word squire over and over again.

  4. When my daughter was young we would listen to Rathbone and Bruce radio programs on tapes borrowed from the library. Yesterday, I took my copy of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” to keep me company at the laundromat. Almost missed the rinse cycle!

    You chose a wonderful birthday card for Sir Arthur.

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