I saw this question posted on a popular forum for actors, and I wanted to repost the response I gave over there:
About agents- I'm one of those actors who wants to be submitted only to certain types of projects. And that is television shows. Now do agents work in all areas or are there some who do only one type or are there some who do all but do better at different types? A bit confusing...
Great question! There are two major areas for agents to specialize in- "Legit" work (theater, film, television) and "Non-Legit" work (commercials, voiceover, industrials, etc.) And within those, there are certainly agents who have strong track records in one segment or another. Some agents really have a connection to musical theater, others who love episodic television. In both cases, it is all about the relationships that the agent has with the casting directors in your desired field (in this case, television.)
One way to research agents, their clients, and what projects they specialize in is to buy a IMDB Pro membership ($99 for one year). With IMDB Pro, you can look up an agency to see who works for them as agents, and what clients each agent has. You can then click to view the clients to see what work they are currently doing.
Ross Reports will also give you basic guidance as to which agents do legit work, and which do commercial, but it doesn't go that in depth.
All in all, I would say that you should strive to get a legit agent, and just make sure they have strong relationships with casting directors who do TV. It is ok if they also have a focus on film or theater, as long as they can get you in the door for television projects.
I hope this helps- I wish you all the best!
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