It's nothing new, though the rise of reality TV has certainly made it more pronounced. And now it's becoming depressingly rampant--if comedic stalwarts like Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Larry David (all appearing in early episodes) are supporting this, then what hope does scripted TV -- you know, when we were laughing at fictional characters instead of having the lens turned around on us? -- truly have?
There was an old episode of WKRP in Cincinnati that poked fun at what Real People was already doing back in the late '70s/early '80s. And since then, we've come a long and sad way, baby.