Season two of the popular Jack Whitehall comedy, Bad Education, wasn’t your standard affair. The BBC show – having enjoyed a successful first season – debuted its second exclusively on BBC iPlayer before last night’s televisual bow, Digital Spy reports.

Jack WhitehallThe cast of Bad Education are back for another season

And it was an experiment that proved successful; 1.5m people checked the first episode out before it went live on TV, and that didn’t stop traditional viewers tuning in, either. BBC3 nabbed 832k - a 4.6% share - for the series premiere. BBC Three's Zai Bennett described the modern approach to this season as "fantastic start" to their "innovation of premiering all scripted comedies on BBC iPlayer".

Giving our viewers more choice in the way they enjoy programmes is a really important initiative on BBC Three, and this outstanding result is testament to the quality of Jack's show and how much the audience appreciate it," said Bennett. "This significant demand on BBC iPlayer and a strong overnight TV audience on BBC Three demonstrates how BBC iPlayer is a complementary platform to our broadcast channels, enabling us to schedule programmes in new ways that our audience truly values."

Jack Whitehall Bad EducationJack Whitehall plays history teacher Alfred Frufrock Wickers

Unfortunately, despite the high viewing figures and success online, the critical response has been tepid. “Jack Whitehall's new sitcom feels burdened with the weight of expectation. Following his unexpectedly triumphant performance in Channel 4 student comedy Fresh Meat, there was a hope that Whitehall could turn out to be a performer of considerable comic depth,” write the Telegraph in their review, concluding that he “sadly, has not been fulfilled in this opening episode of Bad Education.”

Jack Whitehall comedienThe online experiment seemed to work for Whitehall's comedy