Emmy Awards: Are we underestimating Golden Globe winner Billy Bob Thornton (‘Goliath’)?

Billy Bob Thornton won at the Golden Globes in January for his leading role on Amazon’s freshman legal series “Goliath.” The Oscar-winning actor (“Sling Blade”) earned rave reviews for his performance as Billy McBride, a former high-powered attorney whose career took an ugly turn upon his ousting from the law firm that still bears his name. Seeking redemption, McBride takes on a mystifying wrongful death case against his former partner and now-rival.

Thornton just misses the cut in Best Drama Actor at the upcoming Emmys according to our current predictions. But are we making a mistake by not including him?

After all, three of the four most recent winners of this Globe race who prevailed for the first seasons of their shows — Kiefer Sutherland (“24”), Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”) and Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”) — went on to reap Emmy bids. (The exception was Kelsey Grammer for the little-seen “Boss,” which was axed after its first season.) Granted, all three of those individual winners headlined shows that contended for the top prize, with “Mad Men” and “Boardwalk Empire” winning.

And “Goliath” is by Emmy magnet David E. Kelley. To date, 30 performers — ranging from veteran character actors to Hollywood legends — have taken home a combined 38 Emmys for their work on shows produced and/or written by Kelley.

Will Thornton be the 39th?

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