All six episodes of Jonah From Tonga, the new series from the writer and star of Summer Heights High and Ja’mie: Private School Girl, are available now on BBC iPlayer until the end of Sunday 4th May.
The iPlayer-exclusive release for the show, which will air on BBC Three from Thursday 8th May, marks the first time the channel has made all episodes of a new series available to watch online ahead of linear transmission.
Jonah From Tonga follows a 14-year-old rebellious schoolboy Jonah Takalua (Lilley), his family, friends and the crew of teachers and counsellors who are exhaustively trying to help him channel his seemingly limitless energy into bigger and brighter things. It follows on from his expulsion from Summer Heights High, which caused his father, Rocky, to banish him back to his native Tonga to teach him a hard life lesson. After serving his time in Tonga, the boy begins this season at a new school: Holy Cross, a Catholic high school in Sydney’s western suburbs, where another spree of fights, frenemies, break-dancing and law-breaking is bound to ensue.
Victoria Jaye, Head of TV Content, BBC iPlayer, said: “This is BBC iPlayer’s first collaboration with an international broadcaster to create an online TV event. For 48 hours only, iPlayer audiences will be given access to all episodes of Chris Lilley’s new comedy series Jonah From Tonga. We’re excited to see how this digital event sets light to social media activity from fans both here and on the other side of the world.”
Indeed, the BBC has premiered episodes of TV series on iPlayer before, such as the first episode of Orphan Black, which returned last week for a second season, but never an entire show before. The digital release is a fitting step for BBC Three, which is currently expected to end its linear broadcast on Freeview next year and be turned into a BBC iPlayer-only channel.