There's a wild rumor going around about the reason Savannah Guthrie made her return to 'Today' early


Was chaos behind the scenes on "TODAY" the real reason Savannah Guthrie ended her maternity leave early?

According to Page Six, the anchor made an early comeback because executives at the show were worried about sinking ratings.

"The show was in a free fall. She initially announced that she'd be returning on March 3, but they were in a panic . . . and called her back early," a source revealed.

25 PHOTOS
Savannah Guthrie through the years
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Savannah Guthrie through the years
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Journalists Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie attend the 2016 NBCUNIVERSAL Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 18: Court TV correspondent Savannah Guthrie attends Lucky Magazine's VIP Preview to benefit the Robin Hood Foundation at Gotham Hall on November 18, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Fernando Leon/Getty Images)
SLUG: ST-MEDIA DATE: 05/21/2010 CREDIT: Dayna Smith/ftwp CAPTION: MSNBC's 'Daily Rundown' TV correspondents Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd during a live broadcast with Rep. John Dingell, at NBC studios in Washington, DC.
NBC NEWS SPECIALS -- Decision 2010 -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie, White House Correspondent, NBC News during 'Decision 2010' on November 2, 2010 (Photo by Virginia Sherwood/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 29: Journalist Savannah Guthrie attends the People/TIME White House Correspondents' dinner cocktail party at the St. Regis Hotel on April 29, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for TIME)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Ann Curry and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Natalie Morales appear on NBC News' 'Today' show (Photo by Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW WITH JAY LENO -- Episode 4310 -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie during an interview with host Jay Leno on August 30, 2012 -- (Photo by: Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: Savannah Guthrie appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 28: Host Savannah Guthrie on the set of NBC's 'Today' at the NBC's TODAY Show on June 28, 2013 in New York, New York. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 09: Journalist Savannah Guthrie attends NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on April 9, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Gabbe/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales and Savannah Guthrie appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Lady Gaga appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 14: Savannah Guthrie attends A Celebration of Barbara Walters Cocktail Reception Red Carpet at the Four Seasons Restaurant on May 14, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Steve Mack/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 20: 'Today' co-host Savannah Guthrie speaks to the crowd on NBC's 'Today' at the NBC's TODAY Show on June 20, 2014 in New York, New York. (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie attend the 'America's Got Talent' season 9 post show red carpet event at Radio City Music Hall on July 30, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by John Lamparski/WireImage)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MAY 04: Australian-born presenter, Savannah Guthrie poses for a photo inside an art installation before hosting NBC's 'Today Show' live from Australia at Sydney Opera House on May 4, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/WireImage)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Savannah Guthrie and Carson Daly appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 10: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Savannah Guthrie leaves NBC's 'Today' show at Rockefeller Center on November 10, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
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Just a few days after Matt Lauer and guests Lester Holt and Bryant Gumbel hosted the show, Guthrie surprised fans and her co-hosts with the announcement of her return.

"Their bro-show didn't work. They needed Savannah to bail them out, so they rushed her from maternity leave. NBC claimed it was because of the influx of news, but the reality is that the show was down double-digits and they needed her," the source added.

Her early return, however, didn't do much for ratings.

This week, ABC revealed in a press release that "'Good Morning America' delivers [the] largest total viewer lead over 'TODAY' in 14 months."

A source close to NBC pointed out that ABC's lead could have something to do with the network's Oscars success.

"GMA has been down double-digits in the key demo [ages 25 to 54] for months while 'TODAY' has been posting gains. Last week, ABC had the Oscars broadcast, which historically gives 'GMA' a huge boost," the insider said of the viewer lead.

27 PHOTOS
Matt Lauer out and about
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Matt Lauer out and about
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 24: (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Matt Lauer hosts an exclusive guest DJ session on SiriusXM's Classic Vinyl channel to celebrate the launch of TODAY Show Radio on SiriusXM on June 24, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Robin Marchant/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show on June 13, 2014 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- (l-r) Matt Lauer sits down with Pippa Middleton in her first-ever television interview -- (Photo by: Anthony Harvey/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Dave Chappelle and Matt Lauer appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Tamron Hall, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
TODAY -- Pictured: Matt Lauer appears on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
NEW YORK, NY - JULY 22: Journalist Matt Lauer and singer Celine Dion pose for a photo during on NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on July 22, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic)
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - AUGUST 12: (BROADCAST - OUT) Host, Matt Lauer speaks with swimmer, Ryan Lochte of the United States on the Today show set on Copacabana Beach on August 12, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Iseman, Akbar Gbajabiamila appear on June 14, 2016 -- (Photo By: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Carson Daly, Natalie Morales, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer, Maddie Baillio, Harvey Fierstein on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, June 7 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC News Wire)
NEW YORK, NY - MAY 16: Journalists Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie attend the 2016 NBCUNIVERSAL Upfront at Radio City Music Hall on May 16, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Jim Spellman/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 27: Matt Lauer is seen on April 27, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Patricia Schlein/Star Max/GC Images)
THE TONIGHT SHOW STARRING JIMMY FALLON -- Episode 0459 -- Pictured: Journalist Matt Lauer arrives on April 27, 2016 -- (Photo by: Andrew Lipovsky/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 29: Matt Lauer at NBC's 'Today' at Rockefeller Plaza on April 29, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Caitlyn Jenner and Matt Lauer attend the 2016 Time 100 Gala, Time's Most Influential People In The World at Jazz At Lincoln Center at the Time Warner Center on April 26, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Time)
NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2016/04/07: Matt Lauer attends New York City Police Foundation gala at Waldorf Astoria. (Photo by Lev Radin/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Natalie Morales, Savannah Guthrie, Matt Lauer and Al Roker appear on the 'Today' show on Monday, March 14, 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 14: NBC 'Today Show' hosts Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer interview Chris Martin when Coldplay perform in the rain on NBC's 'Today Show' at Rockefeller Plaza on March 14, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Al Pereira/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 21: (R-L) Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer interview 2016 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during NBC's Today Trump Town Hall at Rockefeller Plaza on April 21, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/FilmMagic)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Jordan Spieth appear on the 'Today' show on Monday, March 14, 2016 from Rockefeller Plaza in New York -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Matt Lauer and Jennifer Lopez appear on the 'Today' show on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
WATCH WHAT HAPPENS LIVE -- Pictured (l-r): Matt Lauer and Savannah Guthrie -- (Photo by: Charles Sykes/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 18: Jack Matthew Lauer, Romy Lauer and Matt Lauer attend The Philadelphia 76ers vs New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden on January 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 10: TV personalities Willie Geist, Natalie Morales, Tamron Hall, Savannah Guthrie and Matt Lauer attend the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 10, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by George Pimentel/WireImage)
TV personalities Al Roker (L) and Matt Lauer arrive, at the 73nd annual Golden Globe Awards, January 10, 2016, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. AFP PHOTO / VALERIE MACON / AFP / VALERIE MACON (Photo credit should read VALERIE MACON/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 04: Matt Lauer is seen in 'Midtown'on January 4, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/GC Images)
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