And a thing to understand about "Very Special Episodes" is that in the '70s and '80s, so-called TV drama was mostly not very good -- you had a lot of cop shows and medical shows and stuff, but very little serious character development. If you wanted to see characters grow and change, or see the lead character of a show go through any kind of emotional development at all, you mostly had to go to sitcoms, and that's why shows like M*A*S*H or Family Ties would do serious shows where a character grew up a little -- because hourlong dramas weren't doing this kind of thing. Now they are, so there's less need for sitcoms to do them.
I now recall that Larry Gelbart (not my favorite writer, but certainly important in the development of the VSE) said something to the effect that the reason M*A*S*H stood out was because nobody else in the '70s was doing actual drama. He had a point. Most of the episodes of '70s hourlong drama shows revolved around plot, not character: the resolution of the episode would come when the murderer was caught or the disease was cured. The comedy shows, like Barney Miller and All in the Family and Mary Tyler Moore, were the shows that did stories that depended on character, where the resolution of the episode depended on a character learning something or two characters making an emotional connection.