As soon as a movie/episode is out in the wild on the internet it is going to be spread like a wildfire. To circumvent this, the movie/series industry have to change their stance towards copyright protection. The best they can hope for is to slow down the spreading, because it is technically impossible to stop.
The right stance is that of convenience. Currently it is more convenient to download from the internet than it is to buy the movie. The internet download is almost instantaneous, the buy can take days to finish. For a series on a channel the problem is that the episodes will air at specific days of the week, whereas the episode on the internet can be viewed at your discretion when you want.
Convenience is a powerful and important tool to harness if you want to battle piracy. Most people know there will be no next episode if they don't pay for it in the first place. Most people do want to pay a fair price for a series.
If the MPAA did harness the convenience, they would have an increased market quickly. I hypothesize that episodes pirated from the internet is done also by legitimate buyers who just was not home the day the episode happened to be aired.
Occams Razor applied to the problem. You have no need for a new wild intricate system. You just need some basic, conservative tricks. An episode will be distributed by bittorrent in encrypted form before the airing. This means that people on a measly 1 megabit line can download around 5-6 HD quality episodes per week. If the distribution happens one week in advance, there is ample time to get the data out.
Next, on the airing you distribute the key, unlock the encryption and proceed to view the episode. At the same time an unencrypted file is produced, so the DRM is thrown out with the bathwater. This step is important guys! If the data is laden with DRM it has less value compared to the pirated one.
A season for a series costs $5 at maximum. The customer pays these money for the ease of getting things delivered to his doorstep each week, and to pay in advance for the production. In fact, production starts when the donation box has been filled to a certain point where it is profitable to start a new season, rather than being a gamble.
Why nobody has done this
Hypothesis: MPAA and RIAA are not desparate, are not operating at a loss and will continue to bully around. In general, money is still being made or shops would have closed up long ago. Hence, they have no intention in building a smarter distribution scheme because their current scheme works. After all they have TV channels and Cinemas as their primary distribution form and it works fine.
So then, why go after the pirates? Greed? No, they fear somebody creates a distribution system like the one above and takes them out of business. In one year the smarter distribution system could mean the end for their current structure which they are milking for money as a cash cow. They don't want disruptive technology to enter the marketplace at this moment.
The solution is to create a simple equation "internet = piracy" and bang that into the heads of people. This is their only hope as it will build a barrier making them able to cash in for a longer time before their structure is eradicated.