Executive Meddling: FOX wanted Erin and Titus to break up (a laDharma & Greg), but Titus refused (as he based his show on real-world events) in a way that offended the executive who suggested it, which resulted in all promotion suddenly being pulled, leading to a drop in ratings and cancellation. Now considered Hilarious in Hindsight (in a dark and twisted way) in light of Titus's divorce from Erin Carden. The story of how Titus lost his show is explained on The Voice in My Head (and the story of how he lost Erin is detailed in Love is Evol and mentioned en passant in Neverlution and The Voice in My Head).
The season two episode "NASCAR", which first aired on February 20, 2001, was dedicated to NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, who perished in an accident on the final lap of the Daytona 500 two days earlier.
Missing Episode: Aired out of order, but you get the sense that they were changed because they were originally going to be taken out entirely, as both episodes only aired at the end of the season; while there was only a light storyline, it still created some skewed continuity. They were held back because of how extreme the subject matter got.
"The Protector" takes place in the middle of the third season but was moved to the end (after the "Insanity Genetic" two-parter) because it dealt with child molestation (Erin's niece Amy reveals that she was molested by a family friend who turns out to be the father of a boy who sexually harasses her at school).
Played straight with Titus's mom, who was played by three different actresses (Christine Estrabrook, Frances Fisher, and Connie Stevens) during the show's short-run, as well as the psychiatrist dating her who only appeared in two episodes. This was intentionally done to show how dramatically Juanita's mental illness could alter her personality.
Averted with Erin's family, as all of them were played by the same actors in such episodes as "The Perfect Thanksgiving" and "Deprogramming Erin" (though Amy didn't appear in "The Perfect Thanksgiving").
Playing Against Type: David Hyde Pierce, still best-known for playing the nebbish Niles Crane, made a guest appearance as a loud-mouthed and crude motivational speaker who gets along extremely well with Ken.
Reality Subtext: Titus's real father, Ken Titus, died in mid-second season and Christopher got some time off to take care of things. The first episode upon returning involved Christopher and Ken (played here by Stacy Keach) being manipulated by Erin to take a road trip together, each thinking the other was dying. The real Christopher had to take a break a few times because he felt really uncomfortable doing an episode about the death of his father.
Most of what happens to Titus in the series actually happened to him in real life (the bonfire incident, his mom's suicide, Titus going insane on an airplane following his mom's suicide, Titus being abused by his first girlfriend, Titus living with a hard-drinking, chain-smoking, five-times divorced, womanizing father who always crushed his self-esteem and called him a "wussy"). Members of Titus's family had to sign waivers because of how close it came.
And another instance was with actor Zack Ward, who plays Titus's half-brother Dave. Ward is an incredibly white guy who's married to a hot Asian girl, and the producers found that so hilarious, they gave his character an Asian girlfriend named Nancy (first seen on "The Last Noelle").
Jokes and stories that were featured in the show but weren't referenced in "Norman Rockwell" would pop up in later stand-up routines by Titus as events that apparently really happened. The story of Christopher's conception (a result of revenge sex involving Juanita's boyfriend yelling outside the room while Ken loudly made sure the guy knew exactly what was going on), the seminar where Christopher starts to understand his dad better and others.
Titus offended a network executivenote More specifically: he had a meeting with the new president of Fox and disagreed with her suggestion that Titus and Erin break up. But instead of trying to be diplomatic about the situation, Titus proceeded to mouth off in front of her and the roomful of network executives also present. When the inevitable blow back happened, Titus found that there was no one at Fox, or even the TV industry, willing to take his side., leading to events being manipulated until Fox had an excuse to cancel the series. It became one of the many short-lived replacement shows for Family Guy when Family Guy got UnCancelled and Peter named off all the shows that aired en lieu of their show between 2002 and 2005 on the episode "North By North Quahog."
Managed to be screwed again years later. Fox refused to give up the show's rights or revive it, even if Titus paid for it himself.
Star-Derailing Role: The poor behavior that led to this show's cancellation turned Titus into kryptonite for several years and he's largely stuck to stand-up comedy, with very occasional acting roles, since.
Too Soon: Averted, as they portrayed Titus and the rest of the gang being mistaken for terrorists on an airplane only several months after 9/11. From the DVD commentary: "If we're not funny, the terrorist win."
Originally (and according to the DVD commentary), "Insanity Genetic, Part 2" (and, by proxy, the series) was going to end with the revelation that Titus's Neutral Space was actually his room in the mental hospital he was staying after his airplane meltdown and that his sitcom was really Titus acting out his entire life up until he was committed while two security guards watched it on closed-circuit TV, with one of them saying, "Doesn't this guy ever shut up?"
Tommy and Dave were going to have their own Neutral Space episodes.
Written-In Infirmity: Cynthia Waltros both broke her leg and was pregnant late in the second season. This is they wrote Erin as breaking her leg chasing a burglar, and being in a wheelchair with a large purse on her lap for the rest of the season.
Write What You Know: The show was heavily based on Christopher Titus's actual life and and he had to get his family and friends to sign releases because of how close to reality much of the show actually was.