By Mandi Bierly
February 08, 2011 at 06:54 PM EST

Image Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS; Eric McCandless/ABC; Mitchell Haaseth/NBC; Justin Stephens/NBC; John P. Johnson/HBOSince Valentine’s Day is approaching, we’ve decided it’s time to crown TV’s Most Datable Characters. Here’s how this works: As we did in 2008, we are asking you to name the TV character you’d actually date in real life. The rules remain the same:

1. Hosts or reality TV contestants of any kind are disqualified. The relationship you’re creating is real; your better half must be fictional.

2. You can’t change anything about your partner — other than that he or she will no longer have feelings for the show love interest, obviously.

Here’s what’s different: This year, we’ll tally your nominations — male and female, from current shows only — and, assuming it’s not a landslide, create polls with your top picks and take this to an official vote. The Office‘s Jim Halpert won the men’s title in ’08. Can he repeat? Let’s find out.

To get you thinking, here are a few names being tossed around PopWatch HQ. Remember, if you want them to make the poll round, you have to nominate them as well… 

Parks and Recreation‘s Andy (Chris Pratt): He was “called” quickly by Hillary Busis. Fortunately, Martin Schwartz, who also named him, had two other “loyal guys with hearts as big as could be” on his list — Cougar Town‘s Bobby (Brian Van Holt) and True Blood‘s Alcide (Joe Manganiello). Crisis averted.

Friday Night Lights’ Tami Taylor (Connie Britton): According to Jeff Labrecque, “Tami has a gift for making even the mundane chores of being a mom and wife look fabulous. That hair. Those freckles. That Texas twang. Those sunglasses. Did I mention the hair? She’s feisty and caring, and that she’s one half of the best marriage on television only makes me like her more.” (That’s an answer even Jeff’s wife can approve of, I’m sure.)

Modern Family‘s Gloria (Sofia Vergara): I love how much thought Mike Bruno put into this answer: “Skipping past Lois Griffin (cuz she’s a 2-D cartoon) and Joan Holloway (because I’d never do that to Roger), I’m gonna go Gloria on Modern Family. Assuming I don’t have to mention how she’s so hot her mere presence makes the PTC cringe, she’s also freaking hilarious, loves her family, and deep down knows when to admit she’s wrong. She also has a youthful, fun-loving exuberance that keeps Jay young. Speaking of which, as with Roger and Joan, I do feel bad lusting over Al Bundy’s new, hot Latina wife. But let’s face it, how much longer can the guy honestly expect to keep up with her? Es verdad, no?” (Hmm, “deep down knows when to admit she’s wrong”? Yes, Mike is also married.)

Chuck‘s Chuck Bartowski (Zachary Levi): Breia Brissey also spent some serious time pondering this important question: “As much as I swoon weekly over Chuck Bass and Nate Archibald, I can’t say that I’d be willing to date either one of them as is. Plus, they’re supposed to be fresh out of high school. Not appropriate. So, I’m going to have to go with Chuck Bartowski. And with that, I’m noticing a pattern. A few years ago, my answer would have easily been Seth Cohen. Apparently, my type is Josh Schwartz-created characters. Anyway, Chuck Bartowski is my pick and here’s why: The whole CIA thing is a bit scary, but he’s managed to survive four seasons without any major issues. Also, he has an aversion to major violence. That’s endearing. He’s a computer genius, meaning I’ll never have to worry about any technological malfunctions ever again. He always puts his family first. He’s trustworthy and loyal. He always assumes the best of people. He’s a geek, but a cute one. And one who likes good music. He’s romantic. Last but not least, he’s got a good sense of humor. As much as I’d hate to break up him and Sarah, I totally have a crush on Chuck. (Don’t tell my boyfriend.)”

NCIS‘ Tony DiNozzo (Michael Weatherly): Both Lynette Rice and I thought of him immediately, probably because he shares our love of pop culture and, secretly, we would each kill for Gibbs to kiss us on the cheek (which I think he would totally do after we made fun of Tony together). Luckily, Lynette and I can share DiNozzo, because we each have another man on our mind: For her, it’s Parenthood‘s Adam Braverman (Peter Krause) — I assume because she likes the dynamic of a large extended family and the music of Ray LaMontagne. (I might need a quarter of him.) For me, after envisioning myself opening a bottle of wine, sitting on the couch, and being riveted as The Good Wife‘s Will Gardner (Josh Charles) detailed the latest move in his and Diane’s covert war against Derrick (and then doing some endearing air boxing), I had to admit to myself that I don’t want to move to Chicago right now — not even for one of the city’s most eligible bachelors who keeps beer in his office, would take me to baseball games, drives a convertible (just a bonus, really), and knows how to look at a woman. So, I’m left with the obvious but undeniably perfect match for me: Castle‘s Richard Castle (Nathan Fillion), one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. He’s naturally fun, charming, and creative. He’s got a great relationship with his daughter and his mother. He’s not fearless, but when it comes to protecting someone he cares about, he acts as though he is.

Your turn. Nominate away!

UPDATE: Look for the polls on Valentine’s Day. (And yes, I tallied 2,080 comments.)