Your TV Compatibility Guide

It’s not your fault. Sometimes you and the characters on your favorite show just … grow apart. Maybe you didn’t have as much in common with Bree or Edie as you thought you did. Or you’re finding yourself increasingly attracted to Dexter Morgan. Whatever the situation, the good news is that there are plenty of fish in the TV sea — you just need to find the one that’s right for you. And that’s where our TV compatibility guide comes in: We’ve screened hundreds of potentials and have classified them by personality to help you find that perfect somebody who is more your speed. Looking for a new flavor of eye candy? See our “Hot Body” section. Need a nice guy or gal to watch every week? The “Girls and Guys Next Door” are waiting for you. So go on and find out — who’s your TV type?

THE GIRLS/GUYS NEXT DOOR

If you dream of being stranded on an island with Mary Ann instead of Ginger, or would rather run your fingers through Brandon’s sideburns than Dylan’s, you just might find your perfect match below.

Pam Beesly (Jenna Fischer), The Office, NBC
Can’t resist really white sneakers or the scent of mixed berry yogurt? Dunder-Mifflin’s receptionist is the girl for you — but be forewarned: You’ll have plenty of competition.

P.J. Franklin (Jordana Spiro), My Boys, TBS
She’s cool, she’s fun and she’s into sports. In other words, she’s one of the guys — but she’s so not one of the guys.

Margene Heffman (Ginnifer Goodwin), Big Love, HBO
Maybe she’s not the typical girl next door — unless you happen to live next to a family of polygamists — but Margie projects an innocence that makes her irresistible.

Lily Aldrin (Alyson Hannigan), How I Met Your Mother, CBS
She’s an artist, a kindergarten teacher and one fine slap-bet commissioner. Sure, she’s taken, but Lily and Marshall have split up before …

Jim Halpert (John Krasinski), The Office, NBC
He’s charming, funny and a wiz with Jell-O — all without a hint of pretense or affectation. There’s a reason more than one girl around the office has fallen for him.

Dr. George O’Malley (T.R. Knight), Grey’s Anatomy, ABC
OK, forget that he once had syphilis. George is willing to show his emotions, and isn’t that something women have been asking men to do since the dawn of time?

John “J.D.” Dorian (Zach Braff), Scrubs, NBC
You’d have to compete with his beloved scooter, Sasha, for his attention, but this self-described “sensie” has plenty of love to go around. Though that could change if his Dr. Acula screenplay gets picked up …

Ted Mosby (Josh Radnor), How I Met Your Mother, CBS
Have you met Ted? There’s nothing flashy about him, except maybe his job title (he’s Ted Mosby, architect). But he’s undeniably a good guy, and future Ted is single — remember, Robin ultimately becomes Aunt Robin.

55-PLUS HEARTTHROBS

Baby boomers have to make do with what youth-oriented television provides. But as this list proves, there are some sexy older catches out there — and they’re smart, too.

Shirley Schmidt (Candice Bergen), Boston Legal, ABC
This classy senior partner looks as delicious in a bunny suit as she does in a power suit.

Nora Holden Walker (Sally Field), Brothers & Sisters, ABC
Life may not be perfect, but she’ll weather whatever fate throws at her and keep smiling.

John Locke (Terry O’Quinn), Lost, ABC
His skills will come in handy if you’re ever stranded on an island — or even if you’re not.

Sebastian Stark (James Woods), Shark, CBS
Brains plus passion make for a much better match in a legal eagle than Denny Crane.

Johnston Green (Gerald McRaney), Jericho, CBS
He sometimes single-handedly holds his town together — just the man you’ll want to face an apocalypse with.

C. Montgomery Burns, The Simpsons, FOX
The best way to catch this scrawny old bazillionaire is to pad your bra with C-notes. But beware, he’ll likely outlive baby Maggie.

ARGUABLY PASSIONATE

If you like to argue, the potential lovers on our list will argue back — and maybe throw a few vases. But after so much bickering, the make-up kiss will set you on fire.

Gordon Ramsay, Hell’s Kitchen on FOX and The F Word, BBC America
He dishes out more expletives than entrees but this man with a whisk has just that extra ingredient to spice up your life.

Tommy Gavin (Denis Leary), Rescue Me, FX
This occasionally hard-drinking and always-game-for-a-fight fireman is best taken with a chaser of beer.

Tony Soprano (James Gandolfini), The Sopranos, HBO
Take Tony home to meet the family, and they just might suggest you get your head examined — if so, he knows a great psychiatrist.

Vic Mackey (Michael Chiklis), The Shield, FX
Short fused and sometimes aching for a fight, but for the right woman, we think his heart’s pure gold.

Gabrielle Solis (Eva Longoria), Desperate Housewives, ABC
Move fast — at the rate the hot-headed Gabrielle reels in lovers, she won’t be single long.

THE COMEDIAN/LIFE OF THE PARTY

Sometimes you just need to get out and rip it up with someone who’s really off the hook. You know — the kind of person who manages to take you to the brink of total irresponsibility and still manages never to get arrested. They’re a hoot and a half at the very least …

Ellen DeGeneres, host of Ellen on NBC & Oxygen
Wackiest of the daytime hosts, Ellen is unpredictable and never at a loss for words. And to stop her from dancing, you’d have to staple her shoes to the floor.

Stosh “Piz” Piznarski (Chris Lowell), Veronica Mars, the CW
With his offbeat sense of humor, infectious likability and his own radio show, Piz probably is the coolest guy in the dorms.

INTERESTED IN POLITICS

Some people just get out and vote, sticking their toes in the muck just as long as they have to, to make a decision. Others really get into it. If the issues are as important to you as they are to these few, you’ll get along just fine.

Kitty Walker (Calista Flockhart), Brothers & Sisters, ABC
Like Stephen Colbert, Kitty also is “right” all of the time … but in a different way.

Jon Stewart, The Daily Show, Comedy Central
More than just a comedian or a pundit, Stewart poses the double threat of being arguably the funniest guy on television as well as one of the brightest and wittiest BULL fighters in the political arena.

Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report, Comedy Central
Sometimes it’s annoying when people always think they’re right — but in Colbert’s case, he’ll be happy to tell you why you’re wrong.

THE BRAINIAC

They’re the truly sharp ones. The top of their classes. They have the answers and they’re not afraid to use them. You can learn a lot from these folks, provided you don’t let them intimidate you with their smarts.

Alton Brown, Good Eats, Food Network
He’s sometimes referred to as the Mr. Wizard of Food Network because of his scientific approach and somewhat mad-scientist appearance, but anyone who travels cross-country on a motorcycle — and crashes it on camera — can’t be entirely geeky.

Dr. Drew Pinsky, Strictly Dr. Drew, Discovery Health
Although he’s dealing in more general health issues on TV these days, Dr. Drew’s not fooling anyone — we still know he has more sex in his brain than almost anyone today.

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, MythBusters, Discovery Channel
Never mind the moustaches. These two are as entertaining as they are bright, cutting to the marrow of the really hard scientific questions … like whether or not you’ll get electrocuted peeing on the third rail.

ALTERNATIVE LIFESTYLE

We could mean many things by “alternative lifestyle,” but here, we mean just that. These are the people who swim against the current, who find their own way because they don’t know any other. Maybe one of them is going your way …

Les Stroud, Survivorman, The Science Channel
Got a yen for a romantic evening snuggling in a snow cave? Les is your man for life on the edge (of civilization).

Ami James, Miami Ink, TLC
He’s bald, he’s bold and has a fiery temper — and if you’re sensitive to needling, consider yourself forewarned: This guy’s known for getting under people’s skin.

Flavor Flav, The Flavor of Love, VH1
Now that he’s got time on his hands — instead of around his neck — he’s been giving a lot of it to lovely ladies. He’d surely be happy to share some TV time with you, if you’ll give it.

Harry Dresden (Paul Blackthorne), The Dresden Files, SCI FI Channel
He’s no Harry Potter. Though he’s a wizard, Dresden has the ability to see the supernatural forces behind devious and sometimes gruesome crimes — definitely a walk on the dark side.

Jay Bakker, One Punk Under God, Sundance Channel
Three words you never thought you’d hear together: “Punk rock pastor.” Bakker’s a maverick in the pulpit and in everyday life, and really, really interesting to look at when he’s delivering a sermon.

BAD BOYS/BAD GIRLS

Sure, you know you’ll regret it. But these denizens of the dark side are so interesting, so dangerous — so much the people your parents warned you about.

James “Sawyer” Ford (Josh Holloway), Lost, ABC
Con artist? Yes, but just look at the beatings he takes for love.

Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations, Travel Channel
He once described Bollywood as “The Sound of Music on mushrooms” — and, no, he doesn’t mean enoki.

Simon Cowell, American Idol, FOX
If you can resist slugging him on the first date, you might find some charm inside him somewhere.

Dexter Morgan, (Michael C. Hall), Dexter, Showtime
A man who tries so hard to fit in is well-nigh perfect so long as you don’t break the Code of Harry.

Edie Britt (Nicollette Sheridan), Desperate Housewives, ABC
Catching this housewife is simple. Just let her see you hooking up with a more worthy woman.

Joy Turner (Jaime Pressly), My Name Is Earl, NBC
If she wore a mullet, she’d make it look good. You’ll be smiling when she steals your pickup.

Tanya Turner (Zoe Lucker), Footballers’ Wives, BBC America
Widowed three times under mysterious circumstances, this predatory beauty knows what she wants. Be thankful if it isn’t you.

HOT BODY

We admit it — sometimes attraction is purely physical. If you need to get your hottie fix out of your system, you can spend some time with the following perfect specimens.

Dr. Mark Sloan (Eric Dane), Grey’s Anatomy, ABC
The latest McStud in this sexy hospital show, Sloan is known as Dr. McSteamy, a counterpart to Patrick Dempsey’s Dr. McDreamy.

Major Lee “Apollo” Adama (Jamie Bamber), Battlestar Galactica, SCI FI Channel
Lasers aren’t the only guns firing when this guy is onscreen in the popular series. His well-developed biceps could probably carry an entire Cylon army.

John Cena, himself on WWE Monday Night RAW, USA Network
Given that he has a degree in exercise physiology, it’s no surprise that this popular wrestler would be in such top shape. You can also see his physique in action in The Marine.

Idris Elba (Russell “Stringer” Bell), The Wire (Seasons 1 & 2), BET
Now that BET has recently begun airing reruns of this acclaimed cop show from the beginning, you can look back and see why fans are upset that this hunk has left the series for the big screen.

Sofia Reyes (Salma Hayek), Ugly Betty, ABC
The hot movie star has a recurring role in this series (which she also helps produce). She plays an author who is starting her own magazine, but forgive us if we read between her curvaceous lines.

Heidi Klum, host of Project Runway, Bravo
There’s a reason this German supermodel is known as “The Body,” and that body has continued to be a major draw for this red-hot series.

Catalina Aruca (Nadine Velazquez), My Name Is Earl, NBC
This good-hearted and sexy maid at the hotel where Earl and Randy live could sweep away many hearts.

Atia of the Julii (Polly Walker), Rome, HBO
Thanks to the decadence of ancient Rome, we saw plenty of this lovely British actress’s bod in the first installment of this series, which continues its second season this month.

JUST FOR FUN

These fine fellows have no problem wining and dining women and then dismissing them at their bedside. They’re commitment-phobes, users and at times complete jerks (consider yourself forewarned), yet women continually lust after them.

Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier), Entourage, HBO
Chances are slim for a long-term relationship (or even a second date) with this Hollywood A-lister, but just one night on the town with Vince and pals is good enough for most.

Dr. Christian Troy (Julian McMahon), Nip/Tuck, FX
The notorious Miami playboy and plastic surgeon is stunningly handsome, completely charming and filthy rich, plus he gives great boob jobs. Note to self: Get on waiting list.

Disco Stu, The Simpsons, FOX
This “Le Freak” speaks in the third person, was once hooked on the “white stuff” and is mentally stuck in the Disco era. You’re going to have to “hustle” to get some of this hot stuff.

Dr. Derek Shepherd a.k.a. Dr. McDreamy (Patrick Dempsey), Grey’s Anatomy, ABC
If you can withstand a year of flirtation, then the adorable blue-eyed brain surgeon could be your man. Bonus feature: that fine head of hair.

Barney Stinson (Neil Patrick Harris), How I Met Your Mother, CBS
The “legendary” creator of the Lemon Law of Dating is not your average womanizer — he’s also an amateur magician and a Star Wars fanatic. He picks up most of his women at the airport, so pack your bags and “suit up!”

Mr. Big (Chris Noth), Sex and the City, TBS
He’s the quintessential New Yorker who loves the finer things in life, including money, power, jazz and sexy women. Only drawback: He’s completely unattainable.

ONE OF A KIND

Maybe they march to the beat of a different drum. Maybe they’re eccentric. Or maybe they’re just misunderstood. Or maybe we’ve just run out of euphemisms for “weirdo.”

Dwight Schrute (Rainn Wilson), The Office, NBC
If you like paintball and Count Chocula, fear androids taking over the world, and think a ham would make a romantic Valentine’s Day gift, Dwight’s your man.

Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub), Monk, USA Network
An outstanding detective, Monk would be a great catch if you could tolerate his OCD and phobias of just about everything.

Larry David (as himself), Curb Your Enthusiasm, HBO
He’s neurotic, obnoxious, socially awkward, stubborn and often insensitive. But he’s wealthy, which makes all that stuff OK.

Trudy Wiegel (Kerri Kinney), Reno 911!, Comedy Central
An emotionally unstable hypochondriac, Deputy Wiegel married a serial killer on the day of his execution. So she’s available, in case you’re interested.

Betty Suarez (America Ferrera), Ugly Betty, ABC
An outstanding cymbalist player and “Most Inspirational Basketball Mascot” in high school, Betty might not be the most fashionable staffer at Mode magazine, but her inner beauty and charm will win you over. Awww.

Denny Crane (William Shatner), Boston Legal, ABC
Made of pure id, attorney Crane is nuts for guns and thinks elevators are for Democrats. But the ladies love him — he’s been through five wives.

THE WORKAHOLIC

They’re attached to their Blackberries, and get all touchy when you suggest they love their Vipers more than they love you — but who can resist someone with that kind of single-minded passion?

Andy Bernard (Ed Helms), The Office, NBC
Much like his Xterra, this regional director in charge of sales is luxurious, yet rugged.

Ari Gold (Jeremy Piven), Entourage, HBO
If you’re OK with being one of Ari’s “bitches,” this relentless Hollywood agent might be just who you’ve been looking for.

Leslie Pool (John Lehr), 10 Items or Less, TBS
Greens & Grains’ gung-ho manager knows the difference between a kumquat and a clementine, and comes complete with his own Lessons for Success manual!

Dr. Cristina Yang (Sandra Oh), Grey’s Anatomy, ABC
She’s driven, competitive and “a robot” as a doctor, but this Seattle Grace intern is fiercely loyal, and vulnerable under that prickly exterior.

Brenda Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick), The Closer, TNT
A bit of advice: In a lover’s quarrel, don’t try to pull a fast one on this world-class interrogator.

Lucy Spiller (Courteney Cox), Dirt, FX
She’d reveal her own family secrets — and has — to sell her tabloid, so beware of intimate pillow talk.

Kara “Starbuck” Thrace (Katee Sackhoff), Battlestar Galactica, SCI FI
Foreplay could be dangerous with a woman who takes on men in the boxing ring, but for this passionate pilot, it might just be worth it.