Remember the Saved by the Bell "Caffeine Pill Addiction" special? How about the very scary Punky Brewster "Locked in the Fridge" episode? How might the Brady Bunch handle a truly horrifying epidemic- Measles? I'm Forrest Maready and this is my incredible opinion.
In the late 80s and 90s, it became commonplace for sit-coms to air "A Very Special" episode during sweeps week, when ad rates were determined for their shows. If you could get more people to watch, particularly that week, you could command higher rates for advertising on your show. So producers went to great lengths to tackle serious problems of their day. Punky Brewster tackled the rash of "Locked in the Abandoned Refrigerator" incidents.