It's tough to say that there is a decline of civilization based solely upon what is on television but I believe there may be some correlation. Today, simply looking for something to wither away a few hours, I ran across a show entitled "Bulging Brides." As the title might suggest, this is a show about women hoping to slim down before their big day. Really? This is the type of show that passes now?
To continue on the same lines, there's a show called "Parking Wars" about meter maids and people who tow vehicles. There was the show about airport workers. There's a mulititude of shows about people purchasing, selling or remodeling homes. And don't get me started on the VH1 shows trying to hookup has-been stars with girlfriends/boyfriends or both.
Reality television has gone overboard. Survivor and Amazing Race at least had a purpose. Shows like The Bachelor started a downward trend that now ends with showing overweight brides trying to squeeze into a too-small wedding dress.
It appears this new genre of odd reality shows are here to stay. The budgets for a reality show are a fraction of a fully developed show and there's hardly the same overhead should the show fail. A production staff exists but not the myriad of actors, writers and editors that would exist in your normal prime-time show like Law & Order. It'll be interesting what they do next. I imagine Dog Lives - The secrets of what your dog does while you're at work can't be too far off. Shoot, they probably already make it...just tune into Animal Planet.