Simon Cowell wishes Zayn Malik had come to him with his One Direction-inspired TV show.
The 23-year-old pop star is teaming up with producer Dick Wolf and Universal Television to create the show Boys, which will be inspired by Zayn's own experiences in One Direction, which he quit last year (15).
Zayn will be executive producer of the series, which will follow a fictional boy band and the highs and lows that come with a meteoric rise in success, fame and public scrutiny.
Simon, who made Zayn famous by creating One Direction on the 2010 series of British reality show The X Factor, is convinced Zayn and the rest of his former bandmates - Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan and Liam Payne - should still come to him with their ideas.
"Nothing surprises me anymore," Cowell, who signed the band to his Syco label, told ETOnline. "I think he should have come to me with it, if I'm being honest with you... I do actually believe that when they've got these ideas, bearing in mind where we started, they should actually come to me."
Zayn's new project was announced on Tuesday (06Sep16) and he released a statement praising Dick Wolf, producer of Law & Order and its spin-offs, calling him a "legend". He added, "The opportunity to work with him and NBC to create a compelling drama series is awesome."
The creators of The CW network TV show Beauty and the Beast, Sherri Cooper Landsman and Jennifer Levin, will pen the script and produce with Zayn, Dick and his wife Noelle.
Zayn isn't the only One Direction star to make a move away from Simon and his Sony subsidiary - Niall has reportedly signed a solo record deal with rival label Universal, while Liam is now with Capitol Records UK, and Harry has reportedly gone to Columbia Records, which is still within the Sony family.