The clock is ticking for "The Howie Mandel Show." The syndicated talk show is going on a four-week production hiatus at the end of this month, and Variety reports that chances of its return are slim, based on the Nielsen numbers since the show premiered last June. A representative at Paramount TV, which produces the show, said the break had been scheduled for some time and production is expected to resume May 1. The spokeswoman added that the studio "believes in Howie and the show."
- In other TV news, Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," with new host Jon Stewart, has seen its ratings decline every week since he took over the program from former host Craig Kilborn. The cable channel's reps tell Variety that comparisons between Stewart's and Kilborn's numbers are not fair, since Craig had the benefit of some original "South Park" episodes airing right before him.