Time to draw a chalk line around the latest drama from ''NYPD Blue'' creator Steven Bochco. Fox passed on his ''NYPD 2069,'' which was to focus on an injured NYC detective (''The Perfect Storm'''s Josh Hopkins) frozen in a cryonics-gone-bad experiment and thawed 66 years later. The net decided it had better dramas for fall (like Jerry Bruckheimer's ''Romeo and Juliet''-inspired ''Skin'' and the teen drama ''The O.C.'' from McG (''Charlie's Angels 2''), and is rumored to have paid Bochco a seven-figure kill fee.
''If it had been any other year, Fox would have picked it up,'' says a source familiar with the production. ''The concept of a futuristic cop show was very appealing to test audiences, especially all that gadgetry.'' That's small consolation to Bochco, who hasn't created a hit since launching ABC's ''Blue'' in 1993. ''2069'' is his seventh failure since, following such disappointments as ''Brooklyn South,'' ''Philly,'' and ''City of Angels.'' But Bochco, who declined comment, is already walking a new beat. He and Alison Cross (''Philly'') are creating a relationship series for HBO called ''Marriage.'' Set to launch in 2004, the entire show takes place in a couple's bedroom, bathroom, and closet. Now THAT'S arresting TV.