While he tentatively gives the project his "blessing," Cowell said, "I think he should have come to me with it, if I'm being honest with you."
Cowell, who formed One Direction on the U.K.'s X Factor and released all five of their hit albums on his Syco Records label, explained, "I do actually believe that when they've got these ideas, bearing in mind where we started, they should actually come to me."
Boys will follow a fictional group of singers who make it big, and give an inside look at the highs and lows of life in the spotlight, including the intense pressure of constant media scrutiny. Malik is set to serve as an executive producer on the series.
While Cowell says he wishes that the members of 1D come to him when they want to produce new projects or create new music, the 56-year-old entertainment mogul has been very vocal in the past about how it was "a nightmare" to work with the band in their early years.
"They were like five puppies," Cowell joked in an interview with Billboard in March. "Really excited, loads of opinions, always wanted to hang out." Check out the video below to hear more.