Emmys afterlife? Anthony Hopkins (‘Westworld’) and Ron Cephas Jones (‘This Is Us’) could both win for playing dead characters

TV fans, we won’t blame you for getting chills if you see two ghosts floating up to the podium this year to accept their Emmys. Both Anthony Hopkins (“Westworld”) and Ron Cephas Jones (“This Is Us”) are contenders at the 2018 Emmys for playing characters who died in the first seasons of their shows. Hopkins is up for Best Drama Supporting Actor for portraying the dearly departed Robert Ford on HBO’s sci-fi series, while Jones is looking good for a nomination as Best Drama Guest Actor for his role as cancer victim William Hill on NBC’s family drama.

Hopkins received a lead nomination last year for “Westworld,” but his reduced screen time in Season 2 as the theme park creator’s virtual self prompted HBO to campaign him as a supporting actor. (At the same time, Hopkins’ co-stars Jeffrey Wright and Ed Harris vacated the supporting race to try their luck up in lead.) Hopkins is an esteemed Oscar winner who previously prevailed at the Emmys for the telefilms “The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case” (1976) and “The Bunker” (1981), but a victory for “Westworld” would be his first for a regular series.

Jones is a character actor whose 20-year career resulted in his first-ever nomination last year for “This Is Us” as a supporting actor. As the biological father of Randall (Sterling K. Brown), William died in the emotional Season 1 episode “Memphis,” but he returned in Season 2 in various flashbacks and voice-overs. Like Hopkins, Jones switched Emmy categories this year. He wasn’t featured as much in the second season so he submitted in the guest actor race instead of the supporting category.

According to Gold Derby’s Emmy odds, Hopkins has an uphill climb to earn a nomination this year. The top six frontrunners in Best Drama Supporting Actor are David Harbour (“Stranger Things”), Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”), Justin Hartley (“This Is Us”), Mandy Patinkin (“Homeland”), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (“Game of Thrones”) and Noah Schnapp (“Stranger Things”).

Jones has a much better shot at earning Emmy love, as our racetrack odds place him second to win Best Drama Guest Actor behind last year’s champ Gerald McRaney (“This Is Us”). The other four nominees are predicted to be Cameron Britton (“Mindhunter”), Matthew Goode (“The Crown”), Jimmi Simpson (“Westworld”) and Alan Alda (“The Good Fight”).

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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