Fibs, Yiddish and Crosbys: tidbits from PBS’s press tour

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — They don’t make the front page, but the comments and observations of panelists during PBS’s portion of the Television Critics Association press tour are often surprising and revealing. PBS’s two-day segment, which concluded here Wednesday night, included a rare confession from Henry Louis Gates Jr. and a takedown of Jenny McCarthy, whose opposition to vaccines has made her the bane of public-health officials. Here are some highlights. “Kind of a fib”

Gates, executive producer and host of Finding Your Roots 2, says celebrities rarely turn him down when he asks them to join him on a televised exploration of their ancestries.

Morning roundup: SCOTUS sets Aereo date, Burns gets GIF’d

• The U.S. Supreme Court has set a date for ABC TV v. Aereo, a challenge to the startup service that allows subscribers to watch TV programs over the Internet via miniature antennae. Oral arguments are scheduled for April 21. Though ABC brought the lawsuit, filed in New York and Boston, PBS and New York’s WNET are also among the parties claiming Aereo violates copyright law. • Ken Burns participated in his first Reddit Ask Me Anything session Tuesday as part of the promotion for his new app. He laid out the planned release schedule for his next decade of films: The Roosevelts in September, A History of Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies and Jackie Robinson  in 2015, Vietnam in 2016, Country Music in 2018 and Ernest Hemingway in 2019.