Showrunner, powered by Fable’s AI model developed after the release of open-source systems from OpenAI and Stable Diffusion, can write, produce, direct, edit, voice and animate episodes of shows, as demonstrated in a research paper and nine brief AI-generated episodes of South Park created from a short prompt. (Source: Image by RR)

Platform Combines AI Technology with User Creativity for Unique Viewing Experiences

Generative AI is making waves in streaming with the release of Showrunner, a platform by Fable Studio that can write, voice, and animate episodes based on user prompts. Announced on Thursday, Showrunner allows users to watch AI-generated series and create their own content, controlling elements like dialogue, characters, and shot types.

This move represents the tech industry’s deeper incursion into Hollywood, raising concerns about AI’s potential to streamline production and displace creators by using potentially copyrighted materials. Last year, amid Hollywood’s historic dual strikes, Fable released an AI-generated ‘South Park’ episode to demonstrate its technology, sparking both ridicule and intrigue. As noted in, the episode showcased the threat AI poses to creators by potentially undermining their labor if integrated into the production pipeline.

Edward Saatchi, Fable’s chief executive, envisions Showrunner as “the Netflix of AI,” where users can create new episodes by simply clicking a button and providing a prompt. Users can join a waitlist for a free testing version of the platform, which will run until the end of the year. The announcement unveiled 10 AI-made animated shows, including ‘Exit Valley,’ a satire of Silicon Valley, ‘Ikiru Shinu,’ a dark horror anime, and ‘Sim Francisco,’ an anthology series. While the technology is currently limited to animation, users are encouraged to create their own episodes, with the best submissions being added to the platform’s catalogue.

Fable aims to keep costs low by having users generate content for others to watch, a model that highlights the anxiety creators feel about AI’s potential to replace human labor. With union protections against AI tools in place, the significance of these safeguards will grow if Fable proves there’s a market for entirely AI-generated content. Despite the rough edges of initial episodes like “Exit Valley,” Saatchi believes AI can already produce quality episodes and sees a bright future for AI-generated content.