Producer Stephen Bochco is thinking inside the box for his upcoming HBO series Marriage, which chronicles the state of one couple's union six years in. "All of the action takes place within the bedroom and the bathroom [of a New York City apartment]," says Bochco, "which is where relationships really do their heavy lifting."

Slated to debut in 2004, Marriage stars Brit thesp Jonathan Cake and ex-Presidio Med doc Julianne Nicholson as husband and wife. "They're both real successful New York professionals: he's a doctor and she's an attorney," explains Bochco, who's hoping for his first small-screen hit since NYPD Blue arrived on the scene a decade ago. "It's a really good, strong marriage, but one that, like all marriages, has its twists and tensions and conflicts.

"Obviously, they have their lives outside of those two rooms," he adds, "but they bring their lives into that space and that's how we learn about who they are and what they do. It's a very intimate kind of show. You couldn't do this anywhere but HBO."

Naturally, extra attention is being given to set design. "You bet your ass," laughs Bochco. "You have to create an environment that's really inviting, because you never leave it." Paging Mr. Vern Yip...