Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in ‘Dexter’
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Lovable sociopaths

Michael C. Hall as Dexter Morgan in ‘Dexter’
Even though Dexter is a forensics expert by day and a murderous psychopath by night, audiences can forgive that flaw. After all, he’s killing serial killers he thinks have escaped justice. Noble, right? (Showtime)
Edie Falco as Jackie Peyton in ‘Nurse Jackie’
Jackie pops pills on the job and even had an affair with the hospital pharmacist, but for all her philandering she’s also trying to help the greater good (even if it means forging an organ donor card or two). (Phil Caruso / Showtime)
Bryan Cranston as Walter White in ‘Breaking Bad’
Chemistry teacher Walter White teamed up with a former student to start a meth lab. Sure it sounds bad, but he only did it to pay for his cancer treatment and create a financial safety net for his family after his death. (Ursula Coyote / AMC)
Ed Westwick as Chuck Bass in ‘Gossip Girl’
Always impeccably dressed, perennial bad boy Chuck Bass is the man with the plan -- whether his Upper East Side friends agree with him or not. Though his manipulative and controlling ways have cost him frienships, “Gossip Girl” fans believe that deep down, Chuck has a good heart. (Giovanni Rufino / The CW)
Glenn Close as Patty Hewes in ‘Damages’
Patty Hewes’ end game is never clear to anyone around her, but despite her ruthlessness, her brilliance makes her a lawyer audiences love to hate. (FX)
Zachary Quinto as Gabriel Sylar in ‘Heroes’
Despite the fact that Gabriel Sylar stalked his super-powered prey and ruthlessly beheaded them, his power caused his hunger. Always with a witty line, usually before killing someone, you couldn’t be too sympathetic for him because he embraced it. (Chris Haston / NBC Universal)
Denis Leary as Tommy Gavin in ‘Rescue Me’
The emotionally stunted firefighter raped his estranged wife and makes homophobic comments, but he seems to be a well-meaning father to his two children. (FX)
James Gandolfini as Tony Soprano in ‘The Sopranos’
Sure, he’s whacked a few people in his day, but he’s a family man at heart. (HBO)
Hugh Laurie as Dr. Gregory House in ‘House’
He’s blunt, he’s grumpy and oftentimes rude, but audiences find a way to cheer for him. (Fox)
Kiefer Sutherland as Jack Bauer in ’24'
He was not the best father and not the greatest at maintaining romantic relationships, but that’s OK. Audiences understood he was busy fighting terrorism and saving the world from nuclear attack. (Fox)
Jonathan Rhys Meyers as King Henry VIII in ‘The Tudors’
He was lusty, murderous and hungry for power. In other words, His Highness was fun to watch. (Naomi Kaltman / AP)
Tony Shalhoub as Adrian Monk in ‘Monk’
Multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards prove that detective Adrian Monk’s obsessive-compulsive disorder was endearing. (USA Network)
Dennis Franz as Andy Sipowicz in ‘NYPD Blue’
Det. Andy Sipowicz’s hard-edged personality was no secret, but viewers believed that behind the brashness was a teddy bear. (ABC)
Julian McMahon, left, as Dr. Christian Troy, Dylan Walsh as Dr. Sean McNamara in ‘Nip/Tuck’
The plastic surgeons running a partnership in Florida and then L.A. weren’t the most savory of characters, but they managed to be alluring on screen. (FX)