'Daybreak' has lost almost 20 per cent of its audience in just a week.
Bosses on ITV1's new flagship breakfast show, fronted by Adrian Chiles and Christine Bleakley, are said to be "embarrassed" at the expected one million viewers slumping to just 800,000 this week.
A source told the Daily Mirror newspaper: "No matter which way you look at it it's hugely embarrassing. ITV bosses have thrown everything at this to make it work - money, time and big-name stars but viewers are switching off, or worse, switching over.
"No one expected we'd be able to maintain a million viewers from the word go but to be lower than 'GMTV' already is disheartening to say the least."
In comparison, rival show 'BBC breakfast' logged 1.4 million viewers, while the show's predecessor averaged 820,000 before the slot was revamped.
A spokesperson for the show played down the figures, saying: "Daybreak has made a strong start in a very competitive breakfast television market, with viewing figures for its first week up over 11 per cent on the average for 'GMTV' and positive feedback from our viewers."