Although Sam Raimi and Sam Hamm are credited as executive producers, they were not directly involved with this series. Raimi and Hamm did not like the changes made by Fox after the original TV movie and did not want to be involved in the series.
M.A.N.T.I.S. (1994), the highly-watched TV movie on which this series was based, featured a predominately African-American cast and racism was a major issue in the story. Fox executives thought that the racial focus of the movie was "too grim and too realistic". Except for Carl Lumbly, the African-American actors from the movie were replaced in this series. Lumbly, Gina Torres, and Christopher M. Brown stated in interviews that they were very disappointed that the tone of the series was changed.
The series was subjected to a drastic overhaul midway through its first (and only) season. After a half-season of serious urban action stories with a science-fiction twist, the show's focus shifted to overt fantasy, involving parallel universes, super-villains and monsters. This failed to reverse the program's weak ratings and the show was cancelled at the end of the season with two episodes unaired. The final episode anticipated this cancellation by killing off the title character.
In the pilot, "M.A.N.T.I.S." stood for: Mechanically Augmented Neuro-transmitter Interception System. Otherwise known as the "exo-skeleton". But the network felt that the public would get confused by this, and would always be asking themselves, "What's that suit called again?" So the actual series producers, Danny Bilson and Paul De Meo (who had previously done "The Flash") had one of the supporting characters in the first episode of the actual series run, upon seeing the title character in the suit for the first time, say "Wow, you know? It kinda looks like a Mantis!" thus removing the need for an acronymic title. The only mention of the acronym in the TV series is in the episode M.A.N.T.I.S.: The Eyes Beyond (1994), where a computer display shows what M.A.N.T.I.S. stands for. However, in this graphic, the word "Integrated" is used instead of "Interception".