EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation between ABC and NBC, the two networks that carried Bill Lawrence’s comedy Scrubs, ABC has nabbed a new half-hour project from Lawrence and Canadian writer Jason Belleville with a script commitment plus penalty. Belleville will write the multi-camera project about a small-town volunteer fire department. Belleville, Lawrence and Jeff Ingold are executive producing, with Warner Bros TV and Lawrence’s studio-based Doozer banner producing.

This marks the first U.S. gig for Belleville, who has dual American/Canadian citizenship. In Canada, he most recently co-created, executive produced and ran the single-camera comedy series Almost Heroes and previously worked on hit Little Mosque On The Prairie and Testees, which was licensed in the U.S. by FX. This past summer, UTA-repped Belleville came to Los Angeles for a series of meetings and sat down with Lawrence and his development executive Ingold. The three hit it off and proceeded to developed the idea for the workplace comedy. This is Lawrence’s third sale in the first development season under his rich new deal at WBTV. He previously landed pilot production commitments at Fox, for a father-son single-camera comedy which Lawrence will write, direct and executive produce; and at CBS, for a multi-camera workplace comedy that Lawrence is co-writing/executive producing with Greg Malins. In addition to developing, ICM-repped Lawrence also continues as executive producer/showrunner on his ABC comedy series Cougar Town.