The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is an old-time radio show which aired in the USA from 1939 to 1950.[1] Some of the surviving episode recordings may be found online, in various audio quality condition.


From 1939 until 1943, episodes were adapted or written by Edith Meiser[2] who had written the earlier The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series which aired from 1930 to 1935. Meiser left the show after disagreements with a sponsor over the amount of violence in the program.[3] From 1943 onward, most episodes were written by the team of Dennis Green and Anthony Boucher[2] with some early episodes were written by Green and Leslie Charteris.[4][5]

Originally, the show starred Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes and Nigel Bruce as Doctor Watson.[6][7] Together, they starred in 220 episodes which aired weekly on Mondays from 8:30 to 9:00pm. 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 show to avoid being typecast in the role. Tom Conway replaced him in the starring role, though Nigel Bruce got top billing and was always announced first. The new series lasted only 39 episodes, and Bruce and Conway then left the series. From then until 1950 the series continued as "Sherlock Holmes" with various actors playing the two principal parts.

The show first aired on the Blue Network but later moved to the Mutual Broadcasting System.[8][self-published source] The series was originally broadcast from Hollywood. During World War II, the show was also broadcast overseas through the Armed Forces Radio Service.





Bromo Quinine sponsored some of the earlier programs on the NBC Blue Network and for a period Parker Pen was the sponsor.

When Rathbone announced his intention to leave the show, the show's sponsor Petri Wine[10] offered him generous pay to continue. When he declined, Petri ceased sponsoring the show and the new sponsor was Kreml Hair Tonic for Men.

The sponsor's spokesman was usually Knox Manning or Harry Bartell, or, during the show's initial season and again in the final season, Joseph Bell. In each episode, the spokesman would be presented as arriving at the home of Dr. Watson, then retired and living in California, who would share a story about Holmes and his adventures. Such conversation would open and close the show, with Watson adding further details about the adventure. In the episodes sponsored by Petri Wine, the characters would often share or discuss the drink during these segments, with the character of Watson sometimes joking about the spokesman's habit of always mentioning the product.


  1. ^ Bertel, Dick; Corcoran; Ed (February 1972). "Radio Shows of 1947". The Golden Age of Radio. Season 2. Episode 11. Broadcast Plaza, Inc.. WTIC Hartford, Conn.
  2. ^ a b Eyles, Allen (1986). Sherlock Holmes: A Centenary Celebration. Harper & Row. p. 135. ISBN 0-06-015620-1.
  3. ^ Boström, Mattias (2018). From Holmes to Sherlock. Mysterious Press. p. 259. ISBN 978-0-8021-2789-1.
  4. ^ Ken Greenwald (1989). THE LOST ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Mallard Press. p. 205. ISBN 978-0-7924-5107-5.
  5. ^ Jeffrey Marks (1 February 2008). Anthony Boucher: A Biobibliography. McFarland. pp. 24–. ISBN 978-0-7864-8388-4.
  6. ^ Portico (6 November 2014). The Elementary Sherlock Holmes. Pavilion Books. pp. 63–. ISBN 978-1-910232-14-9.
  7. ^ Anthony Boucher; Denis Green; Basil Rathbone; Nigel Bruce (February 2002). New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. Simon & Schuster, Limited. ISBN 978-0-7435-0114-9.
  8. ^ Aubrey J. Sher, Ph.D. (15 August 2013). Those Great Old-Time Radio Years. Xlibris Corporation. pp. 29–. ISBN 978-1-4836-7909-9.
  9. ^ a b c d Eyles, Alan (1986). Sherlock Holmes: A Centenary Celebration. Harper & Row. pp. 135–136. ISBN 0-06-015620-1.
  10. ^ Vincent Terrace (3 October 2003). Radio Program Openings and Closings, 1931-1972. McFarland. pp. 213–. ISBN 978-1-4766-1223-2.

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