Each of the last two episodes of Breaking Bad — spoiler alert — featured the paper of record in a prominent plot point, eventually allowing Walter to find and manipulate his old frenemies Elliott and Gretchen Schwartz. First, a fictional column (later reproduced) by the very real Andrew Ross Sorkin on a fake episode of Charlie Rose sparked the plan to get his millions home, but only by pretending to be a New York Times reporter in the finale could Walter make it work (along with the threat of assassination, of course).
The newspaper had no idea it was coming: "Based on what I have been able to determine, they probably didn't check in with us, but it also sounds like the use was very likely something that we would have agreed to," Times spokesperson Eileen Murphy told Daily Intelligencer today. "Often producers will contact us as a courtesy, and certain uses require clearance, but these two probably didn't." Still, she added, "most folks here seem delighted with the shout-out."