The other biggest change that people point to is Jesse's last name. If you were the producers, what would you do? remember, your actor is not your character - if there is a name change, there needs to also be an explanation.
The producers in our timeline (OTL) actually did a decent job because they also dropped the name Cochrane from the band - it could be implied that it was a stage name, and the Chronology has a neat story involving Papouli, a promise, and a real predicment celebrities face, that of not wanting to sound too ethnic and having everyone misspell/mispronounce their names. So, what do you do?
1. You don't want to antagonize the actor and risk trouble come contract time. However, why not tell him he has to go with Cochran and that his mom can be the Greek one. Mention can be made in a few episodes of Irene's Greek heritage, and her loving father back in Greece, and you've still got Papouli. Two problems - does she look Greek, and would he accept this or not? if not, you're back to square one. And, he *is* the one witht he Greek name, so he probably wouldn't go for it.
2. This was the route they took in OTL, and it makes sense from *their* perspective. Charcter's a musician. Hollywood and the music industry are filled with famous people (and not so famous) who changed their names so it would be easier to spell, pronounce, or just easier to market as an "all-American name." (Bob Hope - Leslie Townes Hope, for instance.) It might not be as common now as it was in the 1980s, but it was still big then. And, Jesse's a rebel, too - why wouldn't he go with a stage name for a time? Only problem with this is, and I think this is just what the writers did, you're using knowledge the general public doesn't think about. The average viewer doesn't think about the entertainment industry being filled with people like this.
3. The character is not the actor - the character needs a reason to have a different name. But, the talk in "It's Not My Job," which you know is coming up early, is perfect. Just tell one of your writers, "Hey, in that argument with Nick, have Jesse blurt out something about having had a stage name of Cochrane that he dropped." And hope the line doesn't get cut out in reruns. :-)
4. he left home maybe a couple months before the end of season1, and only a couple episodes aired after. So, why not have him talk about how he thought about it once he came back, and decided that he needed to do something more to honor his dear sister by going bck to his original name. Lots of pathos, which is good, but since she was married and a Tanner, is that really honoring her?
5. You've already got a story covering him going with shorter hair, and Tanner vs. Gibbler will focus on the girls next, so why not use one of those to make the whole subject the stage name - whether it worked fo rhim, etc. So he's Cochrane for another 1-2 episodes, the actor won't care, will he? Or, will he? And, do you have enough material? Finally, will you have to worry, years later, about people who still complain that they never said it, just like the ones who say Vicki just disappeared because they never saw the episode where Danny and Vicki break up.
Edited 2 total times.