Trading Names: Talent Reps ARL Now Rebel Ent.

Jun 9, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Boutique talent agency Abrams-Rubaloff & Lawrence, packager of such shows as “Judge Judy,” is changing its name and its direction.
The company is redubbing itself Rebel Entertainment Partners and shifting its focus to the development of its reality series business among cablers, networks and syndicators, as well as expanding into scripted TV series.
Long known as a player in the commercials business, ARL let that division go in September 2001, following the Screen Actors Guild’s commercial ad strike in 2000.
“When the commercial strike hit for six months, I started thinking it’s not a good biz to be in, however, it took a couple years to figure out how to close it down and take care of the people I cared about-our employees and our clients,” Rebel Entertainment Partners President Richard Lawrence, who bought the agency in 1984, told TelevisionWeek. “The evolution started at that point.”
Before the agency let commercials go, Mr. Lawrence said it was perceived as “an older, stuffier agency because of the name and the fact that I’m not 25.
“I am the owner and leader of the agency, but it’s not forever,” he added. “By taking my name off the door it allows for other people to become partners without changing the name of the company. I also think being a little bit rebellious in this day and age is not so bad.”
Rebel’s VP, Debra Goldfarb, formerly an agent with the William Morris and Creative Artists agencies, joined the company in 2001. She’s the one who suggested adding the word “Partners” to the company’s name, so that its acronym is REP. Since she joined the company, REP has beefed up its directors business and added agents Susan Haber, Phil Irvin and Bill Thompson. Mr. Lawrence said he’s looking to hire three or four more agents, as the company continues developing its reality business and breaks into the literary world.
REP continues to represent such talent as Bob Goen and production companies such as “Trading Spaces” producer Banyan Productions.