Although the PJs is modeled after the Brewster-Douglas public housing projects in Detroit, Michigan, the show takes place in the inner cities of Chicago, Illinois. This is revealed in "Smokey the Squatter".
Principle animation/photography was done at the now-defunct Will Vinton Productions in Portland, Oregon. Although injection molded foam characters had been in use for some time, this was the first time it was used for a series television show. This choice was an easy one, since character turnover and the less likelihood of damage to them if they were clay, as well as the tight production schedule made the production run smoother and more budget friendly. Will Vinton Prod. pioneered the Claymation and colored foam molding techniques. Like the Plasticine clay still used, the foam color is throughout, making repairs easier and less noticeable than in clay. If damage was severe to clay characters, a replacement was almost certainly needed, causing costly production delays and down-time. Foam core character could be made in quantities and various poses/facial expressions, so scene changes were fast and easier.
The show takes place in the Hilton Jacobs housing projects. The name is an homage to actor Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, known most famously for his character "Freddie Boom-boom Washington", in the 70's hit series "Welcome Back Kotter".
Although Eddie Murphy voiced the lead character, Thurgood Stubbs, from the show's inception, Murphy left the show about halfway through the 30-episode series. He was replaced by actor Phil Morris (who may be recognizable to many for a role that preceded this, bombastic defense attorney "Jackie Chiles" on Seinfeld).