September 10, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Anger-management issues are par for the course on Hell’s Kitchen, but exec producer Arthur Smith reveals that the shouting matches, name-calling, and expletives reach new levels of mayhem in season 8. ”It is the most combative, aggressive season we’ve had yet,” he says. ”There were many times we were sitting in the control room going, ‘Holy crap! This is actually kind of frightening, but really good television!’ ” Stirring the pot this time around are challenges like a Beverly Hills high school prom and the show’s 100th dinner service, which comes complete with black-tie attire, an orchestra, and, of course, irate chef/host Gordon Ramsay. SEPT. 22

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